How Viscosupplementation Therapy Can Treat Your Arthritis?
Do you know arthritis has become one of the leading causes of joint pain and immobility?
According to the CDC, over 58 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain alone, which equates to about one in every four adults!
The pain isn’t only physical; it also has an emotional impact. It limits movement, interferes with everyday activities, and makes it difficult to appreciate the essential joy of life.
Most people have a question in mind: Can viscosupplementation therapy treat arthritis? The search for effective treatment is a continuing battle for many suffering from this ailment. In this situation, viscosupplementation provides some hope.
Today, we will discuss viscosupplementation therapy in detail. We will also look at how it can bring relief to arthritis patients and assist them in regaining their quality of life.
So Continue Reading!
Arthritis is a group of disorders that affects the joints and surrounding tissues. These disorders come in diverse forms, but they all have one thing in common: discomfort and impaired joint function.
Types of Arthritis
Among the many types of arthritis, the two most prevalent are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis develops when protective cartilage between bone joints destroys, resulting in pain and stiffness.
- On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the synovium (connective tissues inside the joint capsule). It produces inflammation and joint destruction.
Viscosupplementation Therapy: Can Viscosupplementation Therapy Treat Arthritis?
In simple terms, viscosupplementation treatment is a minimally invasive medical technique. It relieves the pain and suffering caused by arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. This treatment involves an injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) directly into the affected joint.
Types of Injections and Their Mechanism
Several types of HA injections are available, but all aim to improve synovial fluid lubrication within the joint. This naturally occurring joint fluid helps with smooth joint mobility.
People with osteoarthritis experience a decline in the synovial fluid over time, contributing to joint pain and stiffness. HA injections provide relief from this recurring pain.
The types of HA (hyaluronic acid) injections include,
- Single Injection: This one-time injection delivers instant relief, and its effect lasts for several months.
- Three Injection Series: When given over weeks, these injections provide more prolonged relief.
- Five Injection Series: A five-injection series is a lengthy treatment plan that can offer relief for up to six months.
Once injected into the joint, HA replaces synovial fluid and acts as a lubricant and shock absorber. This extra cushioning lowers friction between the surface of joints, which helps to relieve pain and improve joint mobility.
Who Can Have Viscosupplementation Therapy?
People who can have viscosupplementation therapy fall into the following categories.
- People with osteoarthritis, particularly in weight-bearing joints such as knees
- Those who have tried medication and physical therapy but didn’t find relief
- Individuals over 40 years
Contraindications and Potential Risks
The hyaluronic injection may not suit some people. When deciding if someone is a good fit for viscosupplementation, consider the following contraindications and potential risks,
- Allergies to hyaluronic acid or injection components
- Active infection or skin disease in the injection site
- Not recommended for inflammatory arthritis
- Caution during pregnancy and lactation
- Consultation is necessary for people with bleeding disorders.
Viscosupplementation Therapy for Different Body Parts
Viscosupplementation therapy helps treat joint pain and stiffness in the knee. But doctors can also employ it in other joints, such as hips and shoulders.
1. Viscosupplementation for Knee Arthritis
In knee arthritis, this technique helps to relieve discomfort caused by osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis produces a decrease in synovial fluid, the natural joint lubricant. Viscosupplementation replenishes this fluid in the knee, says NCBI.
The procedure involves a series of shots, often given over several weeks.
2. Viscosupplementation for Hip Arthritis
Hip viscosupplementation, like knee injections, is used to treat osteoarthritis patients.
In this procedure, hyaluronic acid is injected directly into the hip joint to offer lubrication.
It relieves pain and enhances the function of the hip joint.
3. Viscosupplementation for Shoulder Arthritis
Viscosupplementation in the shoulder is less common than in the knee and hip.
However, doctors may use it to treat some shoulder diseases such as frozen shoulder or osteoarthritis.
The therapy seeks to reduce discomfort and improve shoulder function.
Also read: How to Prevent Arthritis?
How Viscosupplementation Therapy Works
Viscosupplementation treats arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, by injecting hyaluronic acid into the joints. It is how this therapy works,
The first step of viscosupplementation is preparation. The healthcare provider gets patients ready for treatment. It entails cleansing the skin surrounding the joints to avoid infection.
2. Needle Insertion
The doctor then inserts a tiny needle into the arthritic joint containing hyaluronic acid. Doctors perform this process in a sterile environment to reduce the danger of infection.
3. Hyaluronic Acid Injection
This procedure injects hyaluronic acid into the joint spaces to restore lubrication and minimize friction.
When healthcare professionals inject hyaluronic acid, it distributes and covers the joint surfaces, functioning as a lubricating shock absorber.
5. Pain Relief
Viscosupplementation aims to reduce discomfort and enhance joint function. The hyaluronic acid reduces inflammation and pain, allowing patients to move the affected joint more easily.
After the procedure, the doctors recommend the patient to take rest. Patients feel temporary relief during initial treatment, but the full benefits may take several weeks to become noticeable.
Benefits of Viscosupplementation Therapy
1. Pain Relief
Viscosupplementation has a significant role in reducing pain and discomfort caused by osteoarthritis. The hyaluronic acid supplement promotes lubrication and minimizes friction and pain in the afflicted joint.
2. Improved Joint Function
The treatment results in enhanced joint function by improving cushioning within the joints. Patients report decreased discomfort and stiffness while moving, walking, and performing daily tasks.
3. Reduced Reliance or Pain Medications
Viscosupplementation can assist patients in reducing their reliance on pain medicines. This treatment is beneficial for people who are concerned about the long-term adverse effects of pain drugs.
4. Non Surgical Approach
It is a non-surgical therapy option, making it an appealing alternative for people who want to avoid joint replacement surgery.
5. Quick and Convenient Procedure
Doctors inject viscosupplementation injections in their offices, requiring little to no downtime. It makes it a convenient solution for people with hectic lives.
Side Effects of Viscosupplementation Therapy
1. Mild Pain or Swelling
It is usual for people to have moderate discomfort or edema at the injection site after the treatment. You can ease temporary pain with over-the-counter pain medications and cold packs.
2. Warmth or Redness
Some people may experience warmth or redness at the injection site. It is a natural response that usually goes away after a few days.
Patients may feel temporary stiffness in the treated joint in some circumstances. It is usually a quick reaction and is not a reason for alarm.
4. Allergic Reaction
Allergic reactions to hyaluronic acid or injectable components can also occur. Among them, itching, rash, and trouble breathing are possible symptoms. In case of exceeding allergies, you must notify your doctor.
Why Should You Choose SNS for Viscosupplementation Therapy?
At SNS Rheumatology, we provide experienced expert care, advanced treatment, and personalized solutions for lasting relief from arthritis discomfort. Choose us for viscosupplementation therapy, and you won’t regret it.
The Final Verdict
Can viscosupplementation therapy treat arthritis? Viscosupplementation therapy offers pain relief and improves joint mobility in arthritis patients.
In this procedure, doctors inject hyaluronic acid into the affected joints to lubricate them. The hyaluronic acid is injected over time and provides long-lasting results. Make sure not to inject it in the artery or vein as it may cause side effects.
If you or your loved ones have arthritis. We recommend you visit a nearby rheumatologist to cope with this condition early and live pain-free.
Meet Dr. Qaisar Usmani, a Board Certified Rheumatologist with over 20 years of experience in the field, currently serving as Section Chief at Monmouth Medical Center and GPHA, Inc. in Pennsylvania, specializing in the treatment of various Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases.
Meet Dr. Sadia Ghafoor, a board certified specialist in rheumatology who completed her medical training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine and her fellowship in rheumatology at the State University of New York Stony Brook campus, with additional board certification in internal medicine.
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