Viscosupplementation Therapy and Joint Injections
Specialized Therapy Options for Joints
Learn about how these effective treatment therapies can help your joints!
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Action Spine & Joint of Nashville TN wants to be your first and only choice for chiropractic, joint care, and more! We have specialists on hand who have dealt with issues like yours, but they still have open ears and minds to listen to your specific situation and decide what course of treatment will suit your individual needs.
We are proud to have Dr. Casey Bearden, an expert in multiple fields, on staff. He, along with our other experienced and highly trained team, can answer questions you have about common and less conventional treatments for all types of bone, joint, and soft tissue conditions.
Joint pain can be particularly hard to treat because it often takes a combination of treatments to fully relieve the symptoms. It takes collaboration from the general practitioner, the patient, and the chiropractic specialist in order to achieve optimal healing. If you live in Nashville, Green Hills, Bellevue, or a nearby neighborhood, you can easily work in a visit to Action Spine & Joint to see how it’s possible to relieve your joint pain for good!
What is Viscosupplementation?
One type of joint therapy that we provide is viscosupplementation. Viscosupplementation is a quick, minimally invasive treatment that injects a fluid into the joint as lubrication. A shot is applied directly into the joint and must be done precisely for this therapy to be most effective. Therefore, only a professional with the right equipment should be trusted to do viscosupplementation. If you live in The Nations, Sylvan Park, Forest Hills, or right here in Nashville, you have access to one of the foremost clinics providing this excellent service!
Typically, a joint has about 4 mL of fluid, so the goal is to create an injection that will get you back up to that amount. Our injections are usually comprised of one or 2 mL of fluid. The lower the amount of fluid in your joints, the faster degeneration happens. Degeneration depletes hyaluronic acid, and thus, a negative cycle begins. If we can apply the right amount of fluid at the right frequency, it is possible to slow or stop this cycle altogether.
Viscosupplementation is also known as hyaluronic acid injections or hyaluronan injections. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the body, but it begins to decrease in osteoarthritic joints, making them feel painful and be susceptible to swelling, limited mobility, and stiffness. This severely limits that activities our patients feel like participating in. If you’ve been sidelined by joint pain, it’s time to take back control of your life with Action Spine & Joint!
Am I A Good Candidate For Treatment?
Most commonly, we treat patients from Nashville and the surrounding communities – Oak Hill, Belle Meade, and many more – with viscosupplementation therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee. We also use this therapeutic service for hips, shoulders, ankles, at times although these practices are not as commonplace as the substance’s use for knees.
Good candidates for hyaluronic acid injections are those who have tried other non-surgical treatments for their condition but have yet to see improvement. Patients who are in pain daily, doing basic activities like standing or walking, should definitely seek our viscosupplementation services. Also, those who cannot take ibuprofen or do not find relief from the pain with these products are also prospective candidates.
Main Benefits For Our Nashville Clients
Viscosupplementation therapy is thought to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. There isn’t substantial research to say this definitively although all preliminary indications say yes. As we mentioned earlier, slowing or stopping the cycle of degeneration and fluid loss is key in keeping your joints healthier for longer.
We know that this treatment reduces joint pain because it eliminates the friction of bone on bone. Even where the bones are tipped in cartilage, it can still cause patients great discomfort to move about with no lubrication in their joints. Injections prevent this from happening.
We also know that hyaluronic acid injections improve range of motion, basically for the same reason. When cartilage or bones rub together, it is not only painful, but it can limit the patient’s ability to move freely. Injections make it possible for the patient to have full range of motion.
FIND OUT IF VISCOSUPPLEMENTATION THERAPY IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Cortisone Joint Injections
On the other hand, cortisone joint injections, also called steroid injections or steroid shots, may work well for you. This is the other type of joint therapy we can provide. At Action Spine & Joint, we’ll take the time to explain your options and help you decide what you are most comfortable with. Both of these therapies are minimally invasive and have highly positive results over years of use and study, so you can not only trust our personal results, but you can look at decades of research and documentation for reassurance!
Cortisone is a type of corticosteroid that usually includes an anesthetic as well as the anti-inflammatory agent. The terms are used interchangeably, but they aren’t actually the same thing. A cortisone injection is injected directly into the joint and begins to work immediately. Patients in Forest Hills, Bellevue, and The Nations often choose steroid shots because of their immediate relief. Plus, once you are an established patient of Action Spine & Joint, prescreening and follow-up visits aren’t necessary every time you need an injection, so you can have the freedom to tell us when you need an injection, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!
Cortisone is man-made, but it produces the same types of reactions in the body as the naturally occurring substance cortisol. Cortisol controls blood pressure, sugar levels, metabolism, and, most importantly, excess inflammation throughout the body. By recreating a natural substance, scientists have found a way to convince the human body that it is in great physical condition even though it may not actually be. While this does not fix the underlying issue, it is helpful when you are trying to manage joint pain and keep the idea of surgery at bay!
What to Expect with Cortisone Injections
Many of our patients all across the Nashville area and beyond are wary at first about steroid shots, not wanting to experience the negative side effects that steroids are known for. Rest assured, this is a concern we hear all the time from residents of Sylvan Park, Oak Hill, and more. These injections are not the same type of steroid as anabolic steroids such as testosterone, so they do not have the same effects on the body as the more harmful type. You will not experience weight gain, redness in the face, or mood swings after your cortisone injection.
Cortisone shots have been around for a long time, and they are well known for their benefits. Namely, they reduce inflammation in the joints (swelling, heat, redness), and they ease the pain associated with the inflammation.
However, Cortisone injections do not treat the source of the pain, only the pain itself. Arthritis of any kind, for example, has no known cure. The only treatment for arthritis is to minimize the symptoms. Likewise, gout can flare up at any time, but cortisone relieves the symptoms of the flare-up; however, it will not reduce the risk of flare-ups in the future.
Frequency of Injections
Cortisone injections can be given regularly or as a one-time treatment. Common conditions that respond well to a steroid shot include the following:
– Soft tissue inflammation, such as bursitis or tendonitis
– Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
Patients come to us for cortisone joint injections for several reasons. Many of them are seeking relief from the conditions above. A cortisone injection can indeed reduce the effects of a flare-up. In most cases, we’ll recommend a combination of injection therapy with other medications and/or dietary changes for maximum benefit.
Other patients realize that they need help for day-to-day activities. Some want us to make it possible for them to do physical therapy, while others just want to give the joint a chance to rest and recover from prior activities. Either way, we are more than happy to accommodate the needs of our patients from Forest Hills to Green Hills! The effects of a cortisone joint injection last anywhere between 6 weeks and 6 months, giving the patient lots of pain-free days between treatments!
Speaking of time between injections, some patients consult with us and carefully plan their treatments in order to avoid surgery indefinitely. They know that the time may come eventually, but cortisone shots make the pain manageable and put off an expensive procedure that will take months to recover from.
Finally, a less common use of cortisone injections is to diagnose or rule out causes of pain. If we give a patient an injection in a certain area and the pain stops, the cause of pain is localized in that area If the pain does not stop, we take a step back and consider that a neurological or nervous system issue could be causing the pain.
OUR EXPERIENCED CHIROPRACTORS ARE HERE TO HELP!
The Benefits of Both Treatment Options
Both procedures make the nagging symptoms of achy, painful joints go away. They reduce inflammation in joints which, in turn, makes redness and swelling go away as well. We have had great success over the years helping patients all over Nashville manage their joint pain with one or both of these therapies, and we can help you, too!
Must be Re-administered Periodically
Unfortunately, neither injection lasts forever. Both must be given on a regular basis for them to be effective, but that varies greatly from one person to the next. Typically insurance coverage permits one injection every three months, which we find is about average for the time patients begin feeling symptoms again. Some, however can go 6 months or longer before pain and swelling come back.
Can Put Off Surgery by Months, Years, or A Lifetime!
Possibly the main reason patients choose to get joint injections is because it allows them to avoid surgery to repair the damage that is causing them pain. Most people don’t want to undergo surgery and will do whatever it takes to keep from having to have a knee replacement or some other major procedure. The surgery itself is risky, plus there are recovery and physical therapy to think about, and most of our patients simply aren’t ready to take that step.
FIND OUT HOW VISCOSUPPLEMENTATION CAN HELP YOU!
Those looking for viscosupplementation therapy and joint injections in Nashville and in areas near Nashville will benefit greatly from the services provided by Action Spine & Joint. Once your treatment is complete, your bones will move more smoothly over one another wherever cartilage is present. You’ll also see an increase in the cushion between bones, making impact activities less stressful for your body overall. Both of these procedures have many fantastic qualities, relatively low risks, and virtually no side effects. While neither one is a cure-all for every patient, both are equally successful in managing pain and keeping our patients on their feet!
DON’T WAIT! ACT NOW!
This type of therapy is most effective when followed up with rehabilitation services that encourage range of motion, flexibility, and strength. Results can last anywhere from 3 to 12 months. You can postpone surgery or avoid it altogether in many cases with wise use of viscosupplementation, and it can take the place of steroid injections if that is something the patient would like to avoid as well.