Joint Pain Injections for Osteoarthritis

Few things are taken for granted more than range of motion and the freedom of movement, and unfortunately there are many people who experience the slow loss of both these joys over time. While aging inevitably slows down and limits everyone, an unlucky many are affected by the cruel condition of osteoarthritis. Known also as degenerative arthritis, and degenerative joint disease, this affliction causes the slow but steady deterioration of articular cartilage and subchondral bone. For those suffering from the condition, treatment does exist though; one of the most successful treatments is joint pain injections.

The Causes of Osteoarthritis

Unfortunately a clear chain of cause and effect does not exist to identify the factors that lead to the condition. What is known is that osteoarthritis appears to be a result of a joint failing to repair itself after experiencing stressed. Specific sources of joint stress include mechanical, the natural misalignment of bones due to congenital and pathogenic factors, carrying excessive amounts of body weight, and any great amount of atrophy in muscles supporting a joint. Despite the research to suggest these causes though, studies have not indicated that increased levels of exercise or injury increase an individual’s risk to develop the condition.

Given that osteoarthritis appears to be more common in twins, especially identical ones, there is strong evidence that the condition may be hereditary in origin. Another likely contributing factor that has been observed is the influence of excessive weight, not only in the degradation of knee joints, which would be logically expected from bearing the increased strain, but other non-weight bearing joints as well. This has caused researchers to suspect that body fat may play an additional role in the development of the condition, separate from increased stress. One last possible contributor to the development of osteoarthritis is sex hormone level, as women who have experienced menopause are more likely to suffer from the condition than men of the same age.

Diagnosing the Problem

Because osteoarthritis is a condition that manifests internally, inside of joints and the surrounding bone, it requires a clinical examination to confirm diagnosis. X-rays are commonly used to measure the severity of a condition and confirm that an individual is indeed suffering from osteoarthritis. A variety of anomalies on an x-ray can confirm a diagnosis, such as a narrowing of the gap in a joint, the formation of cysts in the subchondral bone, and increased bone formation around the joint itself.

Joint Pain Injections as Treatment

Unfortunately there is no treatment for osteoarthritis that permanently reverses the condition; however, that does not mean that individuals suffering from it must suffer without relief. A variety of treatment options are available for managing the discomfort, and one of the most effective is a joint pain injection. Injecting a treatment fluid directly into an affected joint can not only bring fast-acting relief (much faster than through oral digestion of a similar medication), but also eliminates the risk of an upset stomach that is a common side effect of many anti-inflammatory medicines.

A few different types of fluids are available for injection, from non-steroidal anti-inflamatories, to steroid shots of chemicals like corticosteroids. One option that falls outside the realm of both traditional anti-inflamatories and steroids are viscosupplelemts. In a general sense, viscosupplements basically act as a lubricating and cushioning fluid inside joints that are suffering from osteoarthritis. Joints naturally contain hyaluronic acids, and as osteoarthritis takes its toll, the level of those fluids drops – which is one of the key causes of inflammation and pain.

A variety of viscosupplement forumlas exist on the market and research in the field is constantly moving forward. Individuals suffering from osteoarthritis should keep up with the latest news and updates in the field of injection fluids and pain management, as the science is constantly evolving. Additionally, clinical trials and approval from regulatory agencies can often lag behind solid evidence illustrating compound’s effectiveness.

Try, Try, Try Again

When it comes to treating osteoarthritis, there is no “right way” to treat the condition. Trying different combinations of treatments, types of joint pain injections, and other therapies is the right way to approach pain management, and unfortunately one that individuals will have ample time to pursue. The specific joints affected, severity of the degradation, and overall pain tolerance between those affected can vary greatly; the combination of treatments that works best for one individual is not guaranteed to work for others.