Do Your Joints Hurt? Find Pain Relief
Joints connect the bones in our body, allowing us to move. We can find them in our knees, fingers, elbows, neck, and other parts of our bodies.
Any damage to these connectors can produce pain, which is why joint conditions are so common. Some of the most frequent types of pain occur in the knees, shoulders, and hips. Several treatments can help you find pain relief, including pain medications, physical therapy, and minimally invasive pain procedures, such as injections.
Besides pain, you may also experience swelling, warmth, redness, tenderness, and loss of range of motion.
In some cases, joint pain can be a sign of a serious medical condition. If pain persists, visit a doctor near you.
Common Causes of Joint Pain
Sports injuries (like sprains and strains), overuse of the joints, and even old lesions can cause pain in the joints. Other causes include tennis elbow and other types of tendinitis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the bones weakens, making the bones rub together, and causing pain. The risk of developing OA increases with age.
RA is an autoimmune disease that produces arthritis pain, stiffness, and swelling; usually, in a symmetric way. Unlike osteoarthritis, symptoms usually worsen in the morning.
Treating Joint Pain With Joint Injections
Treatments for joint pain vary depending on the root cause. Based on your diagnosis, one of our doctors at Premier Pain Clinics may create a customized treatment plan to help you reduce pain. This plan may include pain relievers and different therapies designed for pain control.
One of the treatments our specialists use to help our patients find pain relief are joint injections. We often use them to treat joint pain caused by injuries or arthritis.
Facts About Joint Injections
Minimally Invasive Procedure
It’s a one-day process with a quick recovery time. You can have this procedure at a doctor’s office and then return home.
Efficient Pain Relief
Injections work by releasing medicine into the joint. They can relieve inflammation and pain caused by conditions like arthritis and bursitis.
What to Expect
You may notice relief 2 to 7 days after the injection. Depending on the injection, effects can last for several months and even years.
FAQ About Joint Injections
Which are the most common joint affections?
Some of the most common joint conditions are:
Osteoarthritis. A degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage between the bones to thin. The friction between the bones produces pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid Arthritis. A condition in which the immune system attacks your own body. This often affects the joints, and can also damage other tissues such as the skin and the eyes.
Gout. A form of arthritis that usually affects the big toe. It produces sudden, intense joint pain, a burning sensation, and tenderness. It can be a product of different causes, such as kidney diseases, genetics, and medication.
Bursitis. It’s painful swelling around the joints. It usually happens in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. It’s produced by repetitive movements or stress on some part of the body.
Other joint problems. Joints often hurt also because of injuries, like sprains, fractures, and dislocations.
Some of the symptoms of these problems can be treated using joint injections. However, your doctor should decide which is the best option for you depending on your diagnosis, your medical and family history, and other factors.
Which types of joint injections are there?
Some of the pain injections we use in our pain clinic are:
Facet joint injections. The facet joints are located in the spine. Affected facet joints can cause debilitating pain in the neck or back. We use these injections to treat joint pain in these specific areas, and the effects can last for about two months.
Hydrocortisone/Steroid injections. We use these to treat joint pain caused by injuries and arthritis. We often use these in the shoulders, knees, hands, elbows, wrists, and hips. They often alleviate inflammation and make movement easier. The effects can last for several months.
Hyaluronic acid injections. We use these injections to treat joint pain in the knee. We often apply HA injections when corticosteroid injections can’t successfully alleviate the pain. These are chemically similar to joint fluid, which helps lubricate the joint. The effects can last for up to five months.
How do I know which injection is the best for my joint pain?
Depending on the intensity of your symptoms and your medical history, your pain doctor will decide which joint pain treatment is the most suitable for you. There are several options among joint injections that treat different types of joint pain.
How can joint injections alleviate my joint pain?
Joint injections don’t treat the root cause of the pain, but they do ease the symptoms, like pain, inflammation, and stiffness. This allows you to recover your ability to move and helps you regain your quality of life.
Depending on your situation, you can have several joint injections.
Do joint injections hurt?
We administer our joint injections under local anesthetic. You won’t feel any pain during the injection.
However, you may feel increased pain in the treated area a few hours after the procedure.
Are joint injections safe?
Joint injections have very low risk, especially compared to surgeries. As they are minimally invasive, they’re very safe.
What should I keep in mind before having a joint injection?
Before recommending pain management procedures such as joint injections, your doctor may ask you to avoid doing tiring activities or driving.
Remember you should follow all your pain doctor’s instructions and notify them about current medications, health conditions, allergies, and/or other relevant information. Ask all the questions you need before the procedure.
What happens during the day of the procedure?
- You must follow all the instructions your doctor gives you, including those related to food, activities, and medications.
- The doctor will ask you to lay down and relax.
- The doctor might use ultrasound during the procedure. They will administer an anesthetic before the injection. The entire process should last 10 to 30 minutes.
- Your doctor could ask you to remain resting for a few minutes.
- Avoid driving or doing demanding physical activities after the procedure. Your doctor could ask you to stop strenuous activities for up to 5 days.
What to expect after this procedure?
After this procedure, your doctor may ask you to lie down for a few minutes. They might recommend you to apply ice on the area in the first 24 hours.
You may feel pain relief a couple of hours after the injection. Some injections, like the corticosteroid injection, can take a few days to work.
Do joint injections have side effects?
Most patients don’t develop side effects. Some of the side effects you might experience after the injection are pain, swelling, and bruising. These are temporary and can last for a few days.
Can joint injections alleviate my pain symptoms in the long term?
Joint injections aren’t usually used as a long-term treatment. Your doctor may recommend you to have a limited number of injections.
Am I a good candidate for joint injections?
Not everyone should have pain injections. Your doctor may recommend you other options if you:
- Are pregnant or trying to conceive.
- Have an active infection.
- Have an allergic reaction to any of the injections’ components.
What should I avoid doing after this procedure?
These are some of the activities you should avoid for the next hours after having a joint injection:
- Driving. Ask a friend to drive you home after the procedure.
- Applying heat to the treated area.
- Showers, swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, etc.
What other things can I do to ease joint pain?
At Premier, your pain doctor will create a customized treatment plan for you. This plan may include physical therapy, lifestyle changes, minimally invasive procedures, and/or pain medication.
Remember you should not self-medicate. Ask your doctor about home care techniques you can practice to ease the pain.
What other treatments are there to treat joint pain?
Besides injections, our doctors may recommend other pain treatments depending on your specific case. Some of the treatments we offer at Premier are:
Laser therapy. This procedure consists of using a laser to reduce pain and inflammation and stimulate healing processes.
Nerve blocks. Another type of pain injection. We use them to block pain signals and stop them from getting to the brain.
RFA. Radiofrequency ablation uses light to damage the nerves that deliver pain signals to the nervous system.
Spinal Cord Stimulation. SCS consists of implanting a small device under the skin. This device masks pain signals.
Medical Marijuana. This alternative pain treatment is effective in treating chronic pain. It comes in the form of oil, gels, pills, and others.
Regenerative Medicine. This is a holistic approach to medicine that includes PRP injections and the use of stem cells. These procedures harness the body’s natural ability to heal.