Joint pain is one of the most common conditions in the world today. There are many causes of joint pain. As modern medicine has advanced, arthritis treatment has evolved as well. This day and age, arthritis pain relief is so nuanced that it can target your specific joint pain symptoms based on where on the body it hurts and what is causing the inflammations to spur. With these advances in technology, there are many medications and topical agents that you can take for joint pain relief. However, some find that injections are the best joint pain treatment. So, let’s take a look at the different types of injections for joint pain.
Why Get Injections for Joint Pain?
Let’s face it, nobody’s a fan of needles. However, what if one second of superficial pain could fix severe joint pain for months? Now needles don’t seem so bad, huh?
What makes injections so effective as an arthritis treatment is that the medication is going directly to the inflammation. Unlike topical agents that need to seep through the skin and medications that need to be digested, injections get right in there and go straight to work at defeating the inflammation.
What Are Injections for Joint Pain?
Medicine has gotten so specific. This is a good thing, especially for arthritis treatment. There are many joint pain causes and even more joint inflammation remedies! There are four main types of injections you can opt to receive for your arthritis treatment.
These injections for joint pain include:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Platelet-Rich Plasma
- Placental Tissue Mix
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these injections for joint pain.
These types of injections are usually the first step in combating symptoms of the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis. Corticosteroids are well-known to be an effective arthritis knee treatment. This injection is successful with treating joint pain in hips and shoulders as well.
The way that corticosteroids work is that they imitate the effects of hormones our body naturally produces. When the body gets pumped up with corticosteroids, it begins to suppress inflammations.
Additionally, corticosteroids may suppress your immune system. This sounds bad, but for those who have an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, this can be helpful. Suppressing the immune system can help control autoimmune conditions because it may deter rouge cells from attacking other healthy cells.
There are little to no side effects of corticosteroid injections. Anytime there is a needle involved, you do run a small risk of getting an infection. Also, you may see a raise in blood sugar levels with corticosteroid injections, so be sure your physician is aware if you are a diabetic.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
HA injections do not raise blood sugar levels, so they are the next best options for diabetics who are showing signs of osteoarthritis. Other than that, HA is usually injected if corticosteroids were proven unsuccessful in treating your joint.
These types of injections for joint pain are typically only done as an arthritis knee treatment. HA injections are chemically engineered to match our own organic joint fluid. This is helpful in treating osteoarthritis.
When you have osteoarthritis, your joint fluid starts to become watery. HA has a gel-like texture. So, with a gelly HA injection into the water-logged joint, the watery joint fluid becomes more of a lubricant. This helps grease up your achy joints. Depending on the severity of your situation, HA may be able to rejuvenate natural HA growth within the knee joint.
Additionally, HA’s gel-like texture coats nerve endings inside of the joint. Doing this eases pain receptors that are signaling painful messages to the brain.
HA treatments can be one to three injections. Arthritis pain relief may last anywhere from three months to a year. Due to HA’s long-lasting effectives, insurance companies typically approve one HA treatment every six months.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
This is another popular osteoarthritis treatment that made headlines when Tiger Woods started using it for joint pain relief. Of the injections for joint pain, this might be the most natural arthritis treatment on the list. That’s because with PRP, you are using your own blood platelets to bring on the healing.
The way PRP injections work is that the inflammatory cells that are causing joint pain are drown in a mixture of your own healthy blood platelets.
The primary functions of platelets is to nurture healing and blood clotting. Platelets get these powers due to the abundance of amino acids present in these cells. Thanks to these high concentration of proteins, damaged soft tissues within the system become rejuvenated.
Placental Tissue Matrix (PTM)
This is a bit more of a controversial form of therapy. PTM is just how it sounds. These are injections of placental tissue collected from healthy mothers after they deliver healthy babies.
Much like PTR, there are so many growth factors that live in placental tissue. After all, this is what caused a whole human life to grow from a bean to a melon!
Injecting PTM directly into the area experiencing joint pain can promote healing throughout the area, causing inflammations to cease.
Now that we have sorted through all the different injections for joint pain, let’s take a look at your options for physical therapy.