HA Injections Can Ease the Pain of Osteoarthritis for Freehold, NJ, Residents
HA (hyaluronic acid) injections are sometimes used as an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the treatment of osteoarthritis. For instance, the sports medicine specialists at New Jersey Sports Medicine in Freehold, NJ, may recommend hyaluronic acid injections for patients who do not achieve sufficient relief with – or are unable to tolerate – NSAIDs. While NSAIDs can be effective for relieving arthritis-related pain and inflammation, high doses can sometimes cause serious side effects, such as gastrointestinal damage, kidney problems, or an elevated risk of heart attack.
HA injections contain sodium hyaluronate, which is a naturally occurring substance found within the synovial fluid of a healthy joint. Synovial fluid serves many important functions, such as:
- Delivering essential nutrients to protective joint cartilage
- Acting as a lubricant to promote smooth motion
- Absorbing shock generated by movement
As a joint becomes worn due to repetitive use or age-related degeneration (osteoarthritis), the concentration of sodium hyaluronate within it decreases. As a result, the synovial fluid becomes less effective. HA injections can potentially increase the concentration of sodium hyaluronate within the synovial fluid of a damaged joint. This in turn can help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve the mobility of the joint.
With that said, the physicians at New Jersey Sports Medicine in Freehold caution that HA injections should not be viewed as a quick fix. Also, results can vary widely among patients. Some begin to notice effective results within a few weeks, while others experience little to no improvement.
If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and NSAIDs are ineffective or inappropriate for you, you may want to learn more about HA injections as an alternative treatment. To find out if this option is right for you, contact New Jersey Sports Medicine to schedule an appointment with a sports medicine physician at our office in Freehold, NJ. We can help you find a treatment plan that matches your unique needs.