Skip to main content
joint injections

Joint Injections For Pain Relief

If you’ve ever suffered an acute injury that took a long time to heal or struggle with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis or persistent tendonitis, you know just how frustrating it can be. Our patients with these conditions express that they just want to get back to their normal activities! Unfortunately, the pain significantly impacts their quality of life. In many of these cases, the root cause is usually inflammation in or around the joint that is not resolving with rest, OTC medication, or therapies like ice and heat. We have seen a lot of success using joint injections of corticosteroids in these patients, who are finally able to get some relief. Let’s talk more about this treatment and when it might be warranted.

When Do You Need To See A Doctor For Your Pain?

We’ve all been there – you wake up and and feel pain in your knee, foot, or shoulder and wonder what activity you did that might have injured that area. Sometimes it seems like all you did was sleep in the wrong position! If the pain subsides in a few days, it’s probably an isolated incident. But, if you notice that you’re still experiencing nagging symptoms after a couple of weeks, it’s probably best to come in and see if we can get to the bottom of it. Whether it’s an acute injury (ankle sprains, for example) or something more chronic, it’s best to have an exam and imaging if necessary to diagnose. Living with pain is common, but it shouldn’t be considered normal. There are often treatments and therapies we can recommend to help.

The Difference Between Acute And Chronic Pain

We see patients will all types of pain in our office, and most can be categorized as acute or chronic. The difference is in the onset and duration. With acute pain, we can often point to a certain instance where injury occurred. Once that injury has healed, the pain goes away. But, with chronic pain, it can be a bit more tricky. Patients often have trouble recalling what happened when their pain started – all they know is that it’s gone on too long.

One of the most common causes of chronic pain is called tendonitis – a general term for an inflamed tendon. It’s often the result of overuse – repetitive motions like running, jumping, or sports like tennis. But even people who don’t do these activities can end up with a raging case of tendonitis. Sometimes the cause is truly unknown. This condition can be persistent and extremely frustrating, no matter where it occurs. In older adults, we commonly see joint pain as a result of osteoarthritis (OA)- a degenerative condition in which the joint and tissues break down over time. The inflammation and pain associated with both of these conditions often doesn’t respond to at home treatment.

Joint Injections Can Help

For chronic pain, we typically start with therapies like rest, ice/heat. Physical therapy can also be helpful, depending on the type of pain. But often the cycle of inflammation and pain is hard to break. You rest, you feel better. But when you resume normal activity, the pain comes back. This is the critical time when joint injections work best. The steroid serves to interrupt the inflammation cycle, reducing pain and calming the tissues surrounding the area.

Not all types of pain will benefit from this type of treatment, but OA and tendonitis respond particularly well. If you’re unsure about whether or not you would be a good candidate, schedule an appointment with us. We will discuss your concerns and help you decide if a joint injection would be a good next step to healing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *