Douglas Family Medicine
Family Medicine located in Castle Rock, CO
Joint injections are a valuable treatment option for painful conditions affecting the joints, helping to reduce inflammation and pain, often for several months. The team at Douglas Family Medicine in Castle Rock, Colorado, provides outstanding services for patients who have painful joints, including offering joint injections. Call Douglas Family Medicine today if you have painful joints, or book an appointment today.
Joint Injections Q & A
Why might I need joint injections?
If you have joint pain, the treatment you receive at Douglas Family Medicine depends on the cause of your condition, and where possible conservative treatment solutions including medication and physical therapies are effective in relieving pain and restoring function. Joint injection use is typically reserved for when the problem doesn’t improve after trying the most conservative options.
Joint injections can be helpful for patients who have conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
If you have one of these conditions or any other form of joint pain and dysfunction, joint injections can form a beneficial element of your individual treatment plan at Douglas Family Medicine.
What kinds of injections work for joints?
Steroid joint injections are one of the most frequently administered. Steroids are medications that help reduce inflammation, and therefore pain. Your practitioner at Douglas Family Medicine injects the steroid into the joint, where it acts on the inflamed tissues that are causing the pain.
In some cases, your practitioner removes some joint fluid first in a process called aspiration before injecting the steroid. The joint fluid is sent for analysis, where it undergoes tests such as:
- White or red blood cell count
- Crystal analysis to confirm gout
- Culture to detect an infection in the joint
Draining the joint also helps with pain relief and your ability to move if the joint has an excess of fluid within it.
Steroid injections aren’t a permanent solution for stiff, painful joints, but they can offer long-lasting relief from pain and stiffness. Typically, a joint injection lasts for several months before starting to lose its effectiveness, and in some milder conditions, the effects can last even longer.
Lubricating hyaluronic acid injections can also be useful in treating conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee, by helping the bones in the arthritic joint to slide over each other rather than rub painfully.
Which joints are suitable for injections?
Joints most often treated with steroid injections are the:
- Base of the thumb
- Small joints in the hands and feet
Hip joint injections and injections into some of the smaller joints in the hands and feet are easier to administer using the help of a specialist X-ray called fluoroscopy that shows moving images of the injection site.
Joint injections containing steroids are also useful for treating minor fractures and sprains, helping to reduce inflammation and ease the pain while the tissues and bones heal.
If you have pain in your joints, call Douglas Family Medicine to arrange a consultation, or book an appointment today.