Joint pain can make it difficult to do anything, from getting up in the morning to walking down the stairs. Around 15 million people have reported severe joint pain associated with arthritis, and this condition can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
Dr. Philip Regala is a specialist in orthopedic and sports medicine working in Naples, Florida. If you’re struggling with arthritis, hip pain, or knee pain, he and his team can work with you to find a solution that remedies your health issue. Our office provides a number of pain mitigation and regenerative medicine options, including PRP therapy and joint injections.
The science behind joint injections
Cortisone shots, or corticosteroids, are steroid shots administered directly into the joint. They are a man-made form of cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone that decreases inflammation. When injected directly into an inflamed joint, the cortisone works to reduce swelling and pain.
These shots are commonly administered to those suffering from inflammatory conditions, including:
- Arthritis (including rheumatoid arthritis and gout)
- Allergic reactions
- Back pain
If you have joint pain caused by an old injury, arthritis, or another condition, you might benefit from cortisone shots. However, it’s important you understand the risks involved, and talk to your doctor about what to expect.
What you need to know about corticosteroids
There are some risks associated with using steroids over a long period of time, especially in deep joint injections. Such risks include a temporary increase of inflammation and pain in the joint, spiking blood sugar, or potential damage to tendons, nerves, or cartilage. This shouldn’t deter you from discussing steroid shots as a treatment option. Your doctor will discuss the risks with you and make sure that your treatment is as safe and effective as possible.
It’s common practice to limit the number of cortisone shots you can receive in a year. Other forms of therapy, such as PRP injections, can be used in tandem with corticosteroids to promote healing and manage pain.
PRP therapy for joint pain relief
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is created by centrifuging a vial of your blood to concentrate platelets. Dr. Regala then injects the PRP into your joint. The platelets attract growth factors to the area, kickstarting the healing process. Many patients find that their pain is significantly relieved for prolonged periods of time.
Joint injections of all types should only be administered by a qualified medical practitioner. Dr. Regala is skilled at preparing and administering joint injections for maximum efficacy and low risk of adverse side effects.
Suffering from joint pain? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Regala and his team by calling 239-325-1131, or book an appointment online.