To say that joint pain among Americans is prevalent would be an understatement. Arthritis, which is the leading driver of joint pain, affects nearly 54 million adults in the United States, half of whom struggle with persistent pain.
Our team here at Summit Pain Alliance understands all to well the impact that joint pain can have on your life. Whether you’re sidelined from your more active pursuits or a simple walk around the block has become a painful endeavor, our goal is to get you back on your feet and moving again without pain. To accomplish this, we often turn to cortisone injections, which have helped scores of people move freely again.
Here’s a look at when cortisone injections can play a role in relieving your joint pain and whether you’re a candidate.
A closer look at joint pain
As we mentioned, arthritis is the primary culprit behind joint pain, and millions of people in the US have some form of this disease. Far and away, the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), which affects more than 32.5 million people (and this number is expected to rise thanks to an aging population).
OA is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage in your joints breaks down, causing your bones to rub together unprotected, which leads to pain and inflammation within the joint.
Outside of OA, autoimmune forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, can also limit your life in meaningful ways due to the joint pain they cause.
While arthritis accounts for most joint pain, there are other conditions, such as tendon and ligament problems, that can lead to ongoing joint pain.
The role of cortisone
Since most joint pain is caused by inflammation within your joint, it makes sense to focus on this problem first to restore pain-free movement. Through our cortisone injections, we introduce a steroid that works quickly to reduce the inflammation. In addition to the steroid, we often include a local anesthetic that immediately resolves the pain while the steroid goes to work to reduce the inflammation.
These injections are not a cure for your joint problem, but they offer a respite from the pain and inflammation that allows you to treat the underlying problem. For example, many of our patients embark on a strengthening program after a cortisone injection to beef up the muscles in the surrounding area to take some of the pressure off your joint.
Who can benefit from a cortisone injection
Cortisone injections are minimally invasive and often the first step in addressing and relieving joint pain. These injections work very well in relieving pain in your:
- Facet joints
The joint injection procedure is quick and easy, and we perform them right here in our office. We supply you with a topical numbing agent before we inject the cortisone for your comfort and the entire procedure takes only minutes.
After your cortisone injections, you’re free to get on with your day, though you may feel some soreness at the site of the injections. In the days following your cortisone injections, you should realize gradual improvement as the inflammation subsides, which can last for days, weeks, or months.
To find out how cortisone injections can relieve your joint pain, contact one of our two locations in Santa Rosa or Petaluma, California.