If you struggle with the discomfort of arthritis or swollen joints, you may find it difficult to get adequate pain relief. You may take over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen (Advil®) or naproxen (Aleve®), but may not feel much relief.
Joint injections are one of the best options for managing arthritis and chronic pain. Joint injections can provide the comfort and relief you seek if you have joint pain in your knees, shoulders, hands, or other parts of your body. Dr. Cody Covington of Ortho San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, explains how joint injections can help you.
What are joint injections
Joint injections can reduce inflammation and repair damaged tissue. This inflammation can cause your joints to swell, which can feel very painful.
An injection delivers pain-relieving medicine to swollen joints. It’s injected directly into the joint, where it can help to provide substantial pain relief.
What medicine is used in injections
Several different medicines are used in injections. Dr. Covington will evaluate many factors to determine which is right for you. Some of the medications used in joint injections include:
Corticosteroid medications are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs delivered with an anesthetic. If you have a lot of swelling in your joints, corticosteroids can often provide significant pain relief. While the relief eventually may wear off in a few months, you can count on getting pretty much instant pain relief after an injection.
Stem cell injections
Stem cell injections are one of the ways that your body can work to heal itself. Dr. Covington uses BioLab Fluid Flow™ stem cell injections. These stem cell injections are derived from the amniotic fluid after a healthy live birth.
Because your body recognizes the stem cells as a natural part of the human body, you don’t have to worry about your body rejecting them. Stem cells work to heal your body naturally, releasing growth factors that aid in healing and reducing inflammation at the same time.
With viscosupplementation, Dr. Covington injects hyaluronic acid directly into your joint. This fluid helps your joint to move smoothly again. It’s beneficial if you’re dealing with osteoarthritis when the cushioning around the joint has worn away. It is best suited for knee osteoarthritis.
How many treatments you’ll need
How many treatments you’ll need to experience full relief depends on the extent of damage from osteoarthritis and which treatment option you choose.
You may get relief after the first treatment with corticosteroid injections, although it’s not unusual to need more. You can have up to four injections each year. Corticosteroid medications carry risks, so it’s not recommended to do them too often.
With stem cell injections, you may feel great after the first treatment, but it’s again not uncommon to need more than one. Most people do not need more than two injections. Tissue healing takes time. But you probably won’t need more than two treatments unless you injure yourself.
With viscosupplementation, most people have a series of injections every 3-5 weeks. Results usually peak around 2-3 months after the injection.
If you have trouble with joint pain, you deserve to feel better. Contact Dr. Cody Covington at Ortho San Antonio or request an appointment online.