“Ouch, my knee!”
These words are said all-too often by sufferers of early-onset arthritis, especially towards the end of August when all those outdoor runarounds really start to add up.
When simple anti-inflammatory medicine, ice, and rest are not enough to calm these episodes of knee pain and inflammation, there is yet another option: knee injections.
There are two types of knee injections:
- Cortisone injections
- Lubricant injections
For acute pain that requires fast relief, we recommend cortisone shots. They deliver anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medication directly into the knee joint, a process that works both faster and longer than pills, which have to work their way through the body and must be taken daily.
And though cortisone is a steroid, it has been found to be one of the safest forms of non-surgical treatment for individuals of all ages. Often all that is needed is one quick injection to experience relief for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. The only downside is that it involves a needle!
The second most common form of knee injections are lubricant injections. They are not meant to treat short-term knee pain, but rather, they work to reduce long-term symptoms through the use of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant that is naturally produced by the knee, so introducing a concentrated mixture into the joint helps add an additional buffer on the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in order to relieve knee pain over time.
Lubrication injections require at least three injections over 3 weeks before you feel the effects and thus are not recommended for individuals looking for immediate pain relief.
Even the most pre-cautious athletes cannot entirely fend off the natural wear and tear that occurs from a life of sports, and often nowhere do we feel it more acutely than in our knees. The most important course of action remains prevention, but knee injections can be an effective treatment for keeping you exercising and healthy!