Joint Injections

joint injection png

Joint injections involve minimally invasive procedures designed to relieve pain emanating from inflamed joints.

How to Relieve Joint Paint?

It Starts with Addressing the Source of the Pain
Joint injections can be made in the following areas that tend to be the source of pain for millions of patients:

• Facet joints of the spine. Facet joints are located in pairs on the side of each vertebra in the neck and back, allowing for motion, support, and stability in the spine. When inflamed, they are a common cause of back pain.

• Sacroiliac joint. This is the joint that links the pelvis and lower spine. Pain and inflammation in this region are not uncommon.

• Coccyx. This is the tailbone. An inflamed coccyx may be relieved with joint injections.

• Hip joints. Hips rotate and move quite a bit, hence the need for hip pain relief solutions in the event of inflammation.

• Shoulder, elbow, and hand joints. Joint pain can also occur in the upper limbs, making it difficult to write, hold tools, and lift heavy objects. Joint injections may relieve pain in these regions.

• Knee, ankle, and foot. Pain can occur in joints in the lower limbs, making something as simple as walking painful. Steroid joint injections in the knees, ankles, and feet can help relieve pain and clear the way for physical therapy.

How Does a Joint Injection Work?

Joint injections work by supplying anesthetic numbing agents (pain relievers) and steroid agents (which help reduce inflammation) to an affected, inflamed joint. Such agents can also be utilized when joint material has deteriorated to the point that bone is rubbing against bone during movement (thus producing pain).

Who is a Candidate for Joint Injections?

Patients are candidates for joint injections when their ailment does not respond to other conventional medicinal approaches, like oral anti-inflammatory medication, rest, or physical therapy. Often, joint injections are used to produce lasting pain relief so the patient can receive physical therapy.

Individuals who are generally not patients for joint injection therapy are people who have an infection, are pregnant, or have bleeding problems.

What Happens During Joint Injection Treatment?

Joint injections are extremely simple, noninvasive procedures, and they can be performed by physicians, including physiatrists (PM&R), radiologists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and surgeons. The steps to treatment include:

The patient lies on an x-ray table. A local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area.
The physician inserts a needle into the affected area with the help of a special x-ray, acting as a guide for the needle.
Once the needle is at the affected area, the physician injects medication into the affected joint. The needle is removed.
Multiple injections may be performed depending on the joints affected, the degree of pain, and the location of the pain.

Are There Risks to Joint Injections?

Considered a noninvasive, low-risk procedure; joint injections produce little to no side effects, and what side effects may occur are very benign. Some effects that patients may experience include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Headache
  • Allergic reaction

Some patients have reactions to steroid injections. When these occur, they usually manifest as:

  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Water retention
  • Flushing (hot flashes)
  • Temporary weight gain

In extremely rare cases, nerve damage can occur.

See if Joint Injections are Right for You

Pain may have been conventionally viewed as a natural part of aging due to the weakening of joint tissues, increased inflammation, and loss of tissue that prevent bone from rubbing against bone. But with new advances in medicine, joint injections can provide almost instant and lasting pain relief without risking side effects and potentially addictive drugs. Further, they can clear the way for real, lasting healing to occur through the use of physical therapy. To see if joint injections are a good fit for you, contact Foundations Health and Physical Medicine.