In the United States, about 58.5 million people struggle with arthritis. That’s about one in every four individuals. This degenerative condition causes the cushiony cartilage that protects your joints to break down, causing debilitating pain and dysfunction. Bone rubs against bone, causing stiffness, swelling, and compensatory problems.
The skilled team at Total Joint Specialists, formerly known as Georgia Joint Specialists, see many patients with arthritis and, when conservative treatments fail, often recommend joint injections.
These corticosteroid injections relieve inflammation to give you some relief from joint pain. Joint injections aren’t usually the first line of treatment, however. Here’s when the Total Joint Specialist’s team suggests you consider joint injections and how they can help.
How joint injections work
Joint injections contain a corticosteroid, a medication that fights inflammation and the associated pain. We use X-ray or ultrasound technology to identify the right location for the injection so it can deliver lasting pain relief.
When to consider joint injections
We do a thorough exam and evaluation of your arthritic condition to determine if joint injections make sense for you.
Factors to consider include:
Your pain level is high
If moderate to severe pain interferes with your daily life and prevents you from doing activities you love, joint injections may be the right step.
The injections can make it more comfortable for you to do daily tasks, including walking and getting out of the car. Active people may be able to sustain a highly active lifestyle following joint injections.
Other treatments don’t help
When over-the-counter anti inflammatory medications, physical therapy, movement modifications, rest, and supplements don’t help alleviate your pain, joint injections are the logical next step.
Oral pain medications aren’t an option
If you can’t take oral anti-inflammatory medications because of kidney or stomach problems, injections are an answer. These injections deliver the medication directly to the joint, so they bypass your organs and reduce the risk of digestive side effects.
You’re not ready for surgery
Joint injections don’t cure arthritis. But, you may be able to put off hip replacement or knee replacement surgery for longer because of the pain relief that the injections provide. In the long term, though, surgery may be the best option to give you lasting relief and restoration of function.
What joint injections can do
We will sit down with you to discuss the pros and cons of joint injections based on your health history and diagnosis. We want you to have realistic expectations from the treatment.
You’ll notice pain relief shortly after the injections. The degree of relief and length of relief vary according to each patient.
Joint injections can ease pain and inflammation for several weeks and, in some cases, for several months. But, they can’t reverse or cure your condition. The degeneration associated with arthritis continues, even though your pain is temporarily eased.
If you’re ready to explore joint injections and other treatments for arthritis, reach out to one of the Total Joint Specialists offices in Midtown Atlanta, Alpharetta, Braselton, Canton, Cumming, Gainesville, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, and Woodstock, Georgia. Call or schedule online today.