Injection Therapy

Injection Therapy for Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and loss of mobility or joint function. It can greatly diminish the quality of life of sufferers. 

 

Osteoarthritis is the most common rheumatic disease and is second only to cardiovascular disease in producing chronic disability.

 

Osteoarthritis is not a passive ‘wear and tear’ phenomenon, as was believed until recently. It is an active disease with a complex underlying pathology.


There are 3 common stages of Osteoarthritis

  1.  Stiffness after lying or sitting for a while is often the first indication of Osteoarthritis. This may ease when becoming more mobile again.
  2. Increasing pain and stiffness with or without swelling and a reduced range of movement. Often patients report they find basic tasks like washing and dressing difficult.
  3. Constant pain and stiffness often with swelling. Normally at this stage a patient will be unable to find a position of ease.

 
Patients also often report a grinding feeling or crunchy feeling in their joints with or without clicking, also known as Crepitus.


Synovial Joints

Most of the joints in the body are synovial joints. Between the bones there is a layer of cartilage and synovial fluid, surrounding this we have a joint capsule. The synovial fluid has 4 main functions to help the joint:
 
1.    It keeps the bones slightly apart, protecting the cartilage from wear and tear
2.    It absorbs shock, again protecting the cartilage
3.    It lubricates the joint
4.    It acts as a filter allowing nutrients to reach the cartilage.
 


What happens in Osteoarthritis?

Sodium Hyaluronate is an important substance within the synovial fluid. It is continuously broken down by the body and replaced. However, in Osteoarthritis this breakdown happens quicker than the replacement. Evidently, the synovial fluid becomes more watery and stops working and, therefore, the synovial fluid becomes ineffective in its role. Gradually the joint space reduces and the joint surfaces start to deteriorate.
 
Any previous surgery or injury to a joint may cause this process to be accelerated. A normal age range for people who develop Osteoarthritis is 60+ however it may be present in patients a lot younger.


Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Treatment options for Osteoarthritis
There is no cure for Osteoarthritis, however, there are many treatments that could help you manage your pain better. Research suggests that a combination of both treatment and education is the most effective way of managing Osteoarthritis.
 
What is Our Role?
Therefore, our goal is to provide you with several treatment options and help educate you further. Consequently, enabling you to manage and decrease you pain and, maintain and or improve your joint movement. Therefore, reducing any functional loss, enabling you to enjoy an active life.
 
A Treatment Option we can offer you – Joint Injections
Sodium Hyaluronate can be injected into the space inside the joint and works by restoring the balance between the breakdown and production of Sodium Hyaluronate. This is known as visco-supplementation. The effects of this treatment are decreased pain and stiffness and improvement in other symptoms of Osteoarthritis.
 
The use of injections often reduces the need for oral medication due to the decrease in symptoms. The aim is to prevent and or delay any joint replacements.
 
How many injections will I need?
Depending on the severity of your symptoms patients will often have injections between 3-24 month intervals. Some patients find that one injection reduces their symptoms for several years. Many patients find that due to the lack of pain and increased mobility after their injection they are able to exercise, which in turn reduces their symptoms. Those with more severe symptoms may require repeat injections after 3 months. Nevertheless, every treatment plan is individually tailored to meet patients’ needs and are discussed prior to the commencement of any treatment.


Making the most of your treatment

Make the most of your Injection
1.    We pride ourselves on providing ongoing education to our patients. We will provide you with an easy to understand information program about how you can help yourself in the long term care and management of your joints.
 
2.    Staying active is an important way of maintaining joint health. We will provide you with easy to follow exercises and rehabilitation guidance.
 
3.    Maintaining a healthy weight is important. By reducing excess weight, can be an effective way to take the stress off joints. We are lucky to work with a fantastic nutritionist who will be able to give you advice regarding your diet.
 
4.    Be proactive about your pain – We may not be able to cure your symptoms, however, we can certainly help with reducing them and help you to manage your symptoms more effectively

 

Am I suitable for the injection?

 

For further information and to discuss your suitability for treatment, call Shropshire Physiotherapy on 01952 825042.

The NHS website provides additional information on osteoarthritis and treatments available.

 

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Osteoarthritis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Osteoarthritis/Pages/Treatment.aspx