Since osteoarthritis (OA) commonly affects the knees, which are a vital part of your general mobility, there are a plethora of potential treatments to relieve pain and restore function. Every treatment varies in regards to its degree of efficacy, cost, and availability. Anyone with OA has probably heard of the various injections designed for the knee, but most know little beyond their general availability.
How Knee Injections Work
Knee injections are generally chosen over less invasive treatments like NSAIDs, which have been tested and found ineffective at providing relief.After a local anesthetic is administered, a doctor will insert the needle below the kneecap, injecting the pain-relieving solution that saturates the entire joint area. The two most common injections are corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid, each of which carries different side effects and benefits.
Corticosteroid injections are efficient at treating the swelling and buildup of fluid in the knee that is caused by inflammation. Although they work quickly, relief rarely lasts more than 6-12 weeks. They also tend to lose their effectiveness after each consecutive shot. Doctors typically recommend that an individual does not exceed 2-3 shots per year. This type of injection is better suited for treating “flare-ups” and acute pain.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Most of the fluid in a healthy knee is comprised of hyaluronic acid. A knee affected by OA has significantly less of this acid, which contributes to increased pain. The addition of hyaluronic acid helps cushion and lubricate the joints. This remedy is often used as a second resort, as injections are fairly expensive and require several administrations. Some patients claim the benefits of hyaluronic acid injections are short lived in relation to their cost.
Should you Consider Knee Injections for OA Pain?
Before considering invasive treatments and injections, it is recommended that you try alternative treatments and natural remedies, many of which can be quite effective. People who suffer from OA pain in the knee, often find relief through a comprehensive approach to their arthritis. Addressing your diet, lifestyle, exercise, and the utilization of natural treatments, like supplementation, can alleviate the pain of OA, including other negative health conditions you may be experiencing.
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