When people experience chronic pain, their doctor might prescribe injections of pain-relieving medications. This procedure is usually done to treat back pain, but there are other sites throughout the body that could benefit from similar injections. Arthritis in the knees, neck pain, or hip pain can all be improved with the use of site-specific joint injections.
These shots work by relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Even though inflammation is a natural part of the body’s immune system response in order to help us heal, prolonged inflammation can result in long-term pain and sensitivity.
Types of Medicine Used in Joint Injections
Injections for joints contain various types of medications, which will vary depending on your particular condition. Usually, they are a combination of a local anesthetic and steroid medication, such as cortisone. The anesthetic works to reduce short-term pain, while the steroid works to reduce pain and inflammation in the long-term—up to several months. For spinal injections, the medication may contain a neural blockade, which is designed to alleviate acute pain by blocking pain signals from the troubled area to the brain.
About the Procedure
Procedures for the injections are usually quite simple and quick. A physician will clean the area where the injection will occur and inject a numbing medication. To ensure the drug is injected in the exact area it is needed, he or she will use an X-ray device and a test injection of dye. If the dye pools around the joint’s tissue, the doctor will know the needle needs adjustment; if it doesn’t pool, the medication will reach the necessary space inside the joint. Once the placement is determined, the medication will be injected. Usually, the site will only need a small bandage to cover it.
A person can experience pain after the anesthetic wears off but before the steroid takes effect. This scenario is normal and should be remedied once the steroid medication begins to work, which is fairly soon after. In some patients, only one injection will be needed to provide long-term relief; however, others may require several injections to get the same result.
Benefits of Joint Injections
This treatment can help individuals relieve their pain and restore function in the area that troubles them. It can also allow them to pursue physical therapy more actively, which will provide the added benefit of stretching and strengthening the area. A combination of injections and physical therapy can often help patients reduce or completely eliminate their reliance on opioid medication; this reliance is unsafe because opioids often have harmful and even dangerous side effects.
To find out more about this safe, low-risk way to manage pain, talk to one of our Orlando pain management physicians. Pain Medicine Group was founded to provide people with a way to live better lives without chronic pain. We can offer a variety of different treatment options to meet your unique needs. Our physicians develop individual treatment plans with patients after a review of their medical records and a consultation. Our clinic uses advanced and cutting-edge medical technology, and our physicians have extensive training in identifying and treating the source of the pain rather than masking the symptoms. Let us see how we can help.
Contact us at (888) 832-3597 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment with us today.