Joint Pain – Pain Management


Symptoms and Treatment of Joint Pain

Joints form the connections between bones. They provide support and help you move. Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause a lot of pain.

Many different conditions can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. Joint pain is extremely common. In one national survey, about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but joint pain can affect any part of your body, from your ankles and feet to your shoulders and hands. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common.

For people who don’t find joint pain relief from oral or topical medications, the doctor can inject a steroid medication (which may be combined with a local anesthetic) directly into the joint every three months to four months. Steroid injections are most commonly used in patients with arthritis, joint disease, or tendinitis. The procedure is effective, but in most situations the effect be temporary. It can also have side effects; if steroid injections mask an injury, you could overuse the joint and damage it even further.

Other injection options include:

  • Removing fluid from the joint (and is often done in connection with a steroid injection)
  • Injections of hyaluronan, a synthetic version of the natural joint fluid. This is used to treat osteoarthritis

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