In recent years, researchers have discovered many practical applications for hyaluronic acid. This includes everything from wrinkle reduction to chronic pain relief. At CPI, our orthopedic doctors in Benbrook TX (as well as at our Bedford location) often get asked questions about how effective hyaluronic acid injections are at treating osteoarthritis pain. In response to this, we’ve put together some basic information. Read on to learn more!
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a fluid that is naturally made by the body. It is part of the body’s way of offering cushioning and lubrication to help with movement and comfort within joints. It also helps the skin maintain elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It is known to accelerate healing time and increase overall hydration within the body.
How Hyaluronic Acid Injections Can Help Osteoarthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which pain and inflammation occur in joints. This is caused by a thinning of the [hyaluronic acid] joint fluid in the cartilage. When this happens, the bones that are connected within that joint begin to change. In addition to pain and inflammation, osteoarthritis symptoms also include:
- Bone spurs
- Decreased flexibility
Using hyaluronic acid injections as a treatment for osteoarthritis is also commonly known as “viscosupplementation.” It can help add to the body’s natural supply of joint fluid. If you or a loved one is looking for relief from their osteoarthritis pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Institute’s arthritis doctors in Benbrook TX (as well as in Bedford). Our team will be able to assess your condition to see if hyaluronic acid injections could be a good fit for you.
What to Expect
An initial examination will first be performed by a chronic pain specialist. This will include a health history questionnaire as well as any relevant tests or scans. Hyaluronic acid injections are typically reserved for patients whose pain has stopped responding to standard pain medications. For this reason, it’s important to discuss any past or current treatments that the patient has already received.
Since the procedure is minimally invasive, it can be done right in the office without much preparation. The pain site will first be cleaned. Prior to receiving the injections(s), the patient may first get a dose of local pain medication injected into the same area. Also, if there is excess fluid in the joint, that will be removed with a needle. The hyaluronic acid injection is the final step. Depending upon the brand used in the injection, there can be anywhere from 1 to 5 injections needed for a full recommended dose. If more than one is required, they will be given several days apart.
Patients will need to restrict activity and weight-bearing activities for up to two days following this procedure for optimal results. There are very few reported side effects for this procedure. The side effects can vary slightly depending on the brand of hyaluronic acid that was used. Most common side effects include:
- Temporary fluid buildup in joint area
- Temporary increase in pain at injection site
- Possible inflammation
- Muscle pain and/or stiffness
- Difficulty moving
The Comprehensive Pain Institute offers a wide range of pain management treatment options. We provide patients with the latest, proven treatments that bring sustainable relief. Whether you suffer from chronic pain, or acute pain from a motor vehicle accident, work-related injury or sports injury, CPI has a treatment plan that will work for you. Get in touch today with a specialist at one of our two convenient locations: Benbrook or Bedford.