Patients in Encinitas CA find relief with joint injections as a treatment for pain
Many chronic conditions cause your joints to become swollen, inflamed, and painful, which can affect not only your day-to-day activities but also your overall quality of life. Daily pain or inflammation from “flare-ups” can make even the simplest tasks challenging, but fortunately, there are effective treatments such as joint injections to help provide you relief. Dr. Peter Lloyd and his associates at Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center in Encinitas, CA are committed to helping patients get back their range of motion and quality of life and can evaluate your condition to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Conditions that joint injections treat
Joint injections can be used to treat the pain and inflammation associated with a wide variety of conditions. The most common conditions that injections are used to treat include:
- Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, and others
- Gout or pseudogout
- Stenosing tenosynovitis, or “trigger finger”
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
Joint injections are sometimes used in combination with systemic therapies for these conditions, such as during painful “flare-ups” causing more acute pain. Many of the joints in the body can be treated with injections, including the wrists and fingers, elbows, shoulders, toes, ankles, knees, hips, spine, and pelvis.
What to expect during and after treatment
Joint injections are done in sterilized conditions with the goal of minimizing pain both during the injection and afterwards. The doctor will prepare the injection using the right medication for your condition. Medications that are used in the injections are typically corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation to decrease the pain in the joint, which may be mixed with a numbing agent to reduce discomfort. Other medications that can be used in the injection include hyaluronates such as EUFLEXXA®, Synvisc, and ORTHOVISC®, or the homeopathic medicines Zeel and Traumeel.
Your doctor will clean the site of the injection thoroughly to diminish the risk of contamination and infection, and the area will then be numbed with a topical agent to reduce the pain during the injection. Ultrasound will then be used by the doctor to guide the needle into the exact spot that is needed within the joint to provide you the maximum pain relief. In some cases, a procedure called joint aspiration may be done before the injection. During joint aspiration, the fluid in the joint is removed, which helps to relieve extra pressure in the joint.
After the injection, the doctor will put a simple bandage on the injection site. The swelling and inflammation in your joint will typically start diminishing immediately, but it may take a few days or weeks for the pain to fully subside. You may need to refrain from heavy activity that involves the joint for up to 48 hours after the injection, and if you have any post-injection pain, you can use over-the-counter pain remedies such as Tylenol or ibuprofen to manage it.
The length of time that the injection provides relief varies by patient, but the goal is for the injection to reduce pain for several months. The reduced inflammation and swelling will allow you to work more effectively with a physical therapist or do exercises that can help increase your strength and range of motion to help manage your condition long-term.
Learn about whether joint injections are a good treatment option for you
Joint injection treatments are an effective method for controlling your pain. Dr. Peter Lloyd and his team at Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center in Encinitas, CA are experienced in helping patients regain their quality of life with effective management of pain and inflammation using injections and other treatments.
Dr. Lloyd will conduct a thorough examination to understand the extent of your joint condition and discuss the best treatment options with you. There are some contraindications for joint injections and rare side effects may occur, and the injections can only be done on the same joint a few times a year. Dr. Lloyd will discuss all of these topics at your visit so you can make the right choice for your individual needs.
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