Do your knees scream for relief at the end of the day? Do you wake up with knee pain that increases as you move around throughout the day? Do you find it difficult to do basic movements like walking or climbing stairs without tremendous knee pain? Unfortunately, more than 100 million Americans – about one in every four people – suffer from chronic knee pain.
While knee pain can be caused by several different issues, one thing that unites them is the immense pain and inability to do normal tasks. It is natural to want to contact your doctor immediately and find a fast-acting solution. One such quick relief solution growing in popularity is viscosupplementation, or getting knee gel injections. A hyaluronic acid injection can be a great help in relieving arthritic pain and discomfort caused by advanced osteoarthritis and other joint conditions.
However, there are a few things you need to know about knee injections before moving forward with a treatment. This article will shed some light on what these injections are, how they work, their side effects, and other important factors you should keep in mind before opting for gel injections for knee pain.
What Are Gel Injections for Knee Pain?
Gel knee injections, sometimes called HA (hyaluronic acid) injections, help reduce pain and inflammation in the knee joint by acting as a lubricant and shock absorber. Hyaluronic acid, also called synovial fluid, naturally exists in the joints of the body. However, over time, this fluid either loses its viscosity, is worn away, or there is a scarcity of it, leading the bones to rub against each other and causing pain.
If a qualified healthcare professional finds a reduction in the quality or quantity of this natural substance, they may recommend getting a gel injection, depending on the severity of the issue. Additionally, an injection might be used in recovery care after a patient has undergone surgery or suffered an injury.
HA injections aim to reduce knee pain while improving joint mobility, which eases everyday movement. People that have tried other nonsurgical treatment methods for knee pain with little success might opt for gel injections after consulting their doctor.
In some cases, doctors prescribe gel injections when corticosteroid or steroid injections don’t work or can’t be used for medical reasons.
The best thing about HA injections is that the composition is similar to the natural joint fluid, so it does not need time to adapt to the body. It is usually injected into the knee’s deep tissues, but this varies depending on the condition being targeted.
What Does Science Say About Knee Gel Injections for Pain?
Several clinical studies have investigated the effectiveness of HA injections in treating knee pain due to injury, age, knee osteoarthritis, or other factors.
Here are a few indications found in these studies:
HA Injections Offer Pain Relief, But Results May Not Be Immediate
As per a study, gel injections for knee pain offer relief, but results may vary from patient to patient. Several patients that took HA injections reported some relief from pain after taking the initial injection or around the fourth week.
There are several factors that impact the efficacy of gel injections and the time it takes to curtail pain. These factors include age, the severity of the condition, and the quality of the gel injected into one’s knee.
At Oak Brook Medical Group, we use top-quality gel injection brands that are effective for pain relief in the knee. Contact us online or call us at 630-317-7478 to schedule an appointment. Our knee pain experts will tell you more about the gel injection treatment and physical therapy we offer.
Duration of Pain Relief Varies
The duration of the pain relief may vary depending on multiple factors. Some real-life studies also showed an improvement in pain or function lasting up to 40 months.
Reduced Risk of TKR (Total Knee Replacement)
A real-life study suggested that taking gel injections for knee pain can delay the need for total knee replacement for up to 24 months. Hyaluronic acid injections are not an alternative for TKR, but taking these injections from qualified healthcare professionals can delay it.
Repeated Courses Can Be More Effective
Multiple shots of these gel injections can provide lasting relief from knee pain, and the results may be better compared to a single injection.
Depending on your case, you should talk to your doctor about the prescription for gel injections. Sometimes, a single injection is enough for lasting relief if the cause of knee pain is in its initial stages.
How Do Gel Injections for Knee Pain Work?
There are a few different causes of knee pain, and the function of these gel injections may be slightly different depending on the cause. However, research suggests that HA injections for knee pain may work in several ways to provide relief and better joint mobility.
For example, hyaluronic acid injections may reduce friction or inflammation in the joint and can slow down the degeneration of the bone and cartilage.
Additionally, knee injections help maintain the water content within the joints by increasing synovial fluid viscosity. This fluid cushions the ends of bones in the knees, helping them move smoothly with less force exerted by muscles.
It is vital to understand what kind of gel injections you need before seeking professional advice. The safe HA products used at Oak Brook Medical Group produce positive outcomes without causing harm. Call us today at 630-317-7478 for more information.
Effects of Gel Injection on Knee Pain and Inflammation
Hyaluronic acid injections are an effective and safe solution to suppress chronic knee pain. When applied in the right dosage and concentration, these injections can reduce swelling, improve mobility, ease discomfort, and relieve pain in the knee.
In most cases, one shot of this gel injection can provide up to six months of osteoarthritis knee pain relief. However, the effectiveness of each course of gel injection depends on the cause of knee pain. Our team of qualified healthcare professionals always recommends the best option based on each patient’s distinct condition.
In addition to having the potential to reduce knee osteoarthritis symptoms, the gel injection treatment also provides the following properties:
Better Lubrication of Joints
One of the leading causes of chronic knee pain is reduced lubrication in the joint. By getting gel injections, you can revive the joint’s lubrication, while it also helps improve shock absorption capability.
The hyaluronic acid restores the natural movement of the joint by reducing friction and stiffness. Getting HA injections as prescribed by your doctor can help you with long-lasting pain relief.
Another property of HA injections for knee pain is reduced inflammation. People with osteoarthritis in the knee may experience symptoms like inflammation and swelling around the joint.
These injections reduce the friction and, therefore, help suppress the inflammation or swelling up to a remarkable extent.
Better osteoarthritis knee pain relief
In some patients, the hyaluronic acid molecules form a layer around the nerve endings, thus, blocking the arthritis pain signals from being sent to the brain. These molecules can also bind other cells in the knee joint to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.
However, every patient may not experience the same pain relief as others. Therefore, it’s essential to contact an expert to get the gel injected into your knees for enough pain relief so you can get back to normal life.
Effects of Gel Injections on the Knee Bone and Cartilage
HA has been proven to have several beneficial effects on the knee bone and cartilage. It reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines that increase the risk of developing degenerative diseases like osteoporosis.
Besides its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, hyaluronic acid can also stimulate growth factors that increase the amount of collagen and proteoglycans in the tissue. This leads to better structural integrity of the joints.
When injected properly, the gel can stay there for a few days, while the patient may experience results for up to a few months.
Here’s how hyaluronic acid helps improve the bone and cartilage function in the knee.
Helps the Body Produce its Own HA
While these injections work well in restoring the quantity and quality of hyaluronic acid, they can also stimulate the body to produce its own HA. As a result, the pain relief will last longer, and the patient will need fewer injections.
Strengthen the Existing Bone
The hyaluronic acid also strengthens the knee’s subchondral bone while altering its thickness. These changes in the bone’s structure may help curtail the stress on the cartilage when the joint bears the body weight.
Improves the Health of Cartilage
Cartilage is responsible for preventing friction inside the knee joint and it can wear over time or due to several conditions, such as osteoarthritis. In addition, the gel injections produce essential proteins and carbohydrates that are crucial for the cartilage’s health.
Protect the Cartilage
Hyaluronic acid injections, when taken as per the prescription, can stimulate an increase in the growth of cells that produce cartilage in the knee joint. Moreover, these injections also prevent the existing cartilage cells from getting damaged or worn out.
Gel injections may prevent the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee, therefore reducing pain and delaying the risks of total knee replacement surgery.
However, the effects of getting knee injections may differ in each patient. It depends on several factors, including patient age, proficiency of the clinic, progression of the condition, and more.
What Are the Benefits of Gel Injections for Knee Pain?
You may wonder what the benefits of knee gel injections are and why you should opt to undergo the procedure. Well, gel injections for knee pain have been around for several years and have helped thousands of people battle chronic knee pain.
There is a wide range of benefits that these injections offer, including:
Quick and Easy Treatment
Unlike a TKR, you don’t have to spend days in the hospital or remediation centers after taking gel injections. The treatment is quick and easy, and you can perform your day-to-day activities without any issues.
Several studies have showed that gel injections for knee pain are perfectly safe and you don’t have to worry about any debilitating side effects.
At Oak Brook Medical Group, we use FDA-approved injections that are proven safe and effective for reducing knee pain.
Hyaluronic acid injections for the knee help your joint become more active and mobile despite the pain. However, the results may vary for every patient.
Taking oral medication for knee pain may seem convenient at first, but it must be taken consistently and can lose effectiveness in a short time.
Getting gel injections is a lot less hassle. You visit the clinic, get the gel injected, and then live your life with reduced pain. Just set a reminder for your next appointment to get another shot as prescribed by the medical practitioner.
The cost of total knee replacement can be somewhere between $15,000 and $70,000. It may take a while to recover and you may lose income from missed work.
On the other hand, gel injections are highly affordable for suppressing chronic knee pain while improving the joint’s health.
Note: Hyaluronic acid injections are not an alternative to TKR, but they can help you avoid knee replacement surgery for a few years, depending on the severity of the condition.
The Right Time to Take Gel Injections for Knee Pain
Deciding when to get knee gel injections should be a discussion between you and your healthcare provider. Here are some things to consider before deciding:
You Experience Chronic Knee Pain
If you’re experiencing shooting knee pain while walking or jogging, it could be due to several reasons, including diluted synovial fluid in the knee joint. However, frequent knee pain indicates that you should opt for a combination of HA injection therapy and physical therapy.
You Have Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis affects millions of people and occurs when the cartilage that protects bones in joints wears out over time. Patients with osteoarthritis can experience extreme pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the knees.
Gel injections are a fantastic solution to suppress the pain, lubricate the joint, and experience better joint mobility.
You Want Your Knees to Last Longer
Even if you do not experience knee pain every day, you can consult a healthcare expert to learn if you are a candidate for getting the HA injections.
These gel-based injections will keep the fluid in your knee sufficient for a long time and can prevent conditions that lead to knee pain.
Before Getting The Treatment
You should talk to your doctor about what type of gel injections would work best for you.
It is also essential to understand the rare risks associated with each option so that you make the right decision. Be sure to discuss these options with an experienced physician who is familiar with the procedure and your medical history.
What Can You Expect from Gel Injections for Knee Pain?
Getting gel injections or viscosupplementation is a quick medical procedure performed in a certified clinic. The process begins with a doctor evaluating your imaging, medical records, and symptoms to determine the main cause of the problem. Once they have diagnosed the issue, they can make treatment recommendations like getting knee injections.
On the day of the treatment, the knee is prepared and sterilized, and the doctor numbs the joint using a small amount of local anesthetic. Then, depending on the knee joint anatomy and the exact condition, such as osteoarthritis, the medical expert guides a small needle into the joint using ultrasound or x-ray imaging.
After the needle enters the joint, the gel or the hyaluronic acid is slowly released using gentle pressure. Next, the needle is removed and a band-aid is applied to the injection site. The process is repeated until the doctor has injected enough hyaluronic acid for your case.
What to Expect After the Treatment?
Depending on the quality and quantity of the gel used, you might get instant relief from knee pain. It also depends on the number of shots you receive as prescribed by the healthcare experts. Injecting gel into the knee joint may result in minor bleeding and infection, however, all patients do not experience the same effects.
Patients are usually able to get back to regular activity within 24 hours of taking the injection and can start enjoying relief from chronic knee pain. If you have any questions about the treatment, call your doctor’s office and ask about the side effects and possible complications.
At Oak Brook Medical Group, we are committed to providing you with the best services to reduce the pain and improve the knee joint’s mobility. Contact us today and book an appointment to determine if you should get gel injection treatment for knee pain.
How Often Are Gel Shots Administered?
It mainly depends on the condition of your knee and other things, such as the severity of the pain. An expert will administer the HA injections multiple times over a period of several weeks as prescribed in your treatment plan.
The gel injections can provide instant relief from pain, help to restore the cartilage layer, and maintain its healthy function. Hence, the joints become more flexible after the treatment and help you gain long-term comfort as well as mobility.
Talk to our gel injection experts at the Oak Brook Medical Group and learn more about this treatment. We will evaluate the anatomy of your knee to tell you more about how many shots you need while making a treatment plan.
Tips to Prolong the Pain-Relieving Effects of Gel Injections for Knee Pain
While the gel injection itself is highly effective, you can do a few things to make its effectiveness last longer. The recommendations immediately after a HA injection usually include:
Avoid Strenuous, Weight-Bearing Activities
After getting an injection, you should avoid laborious activities that include putting heavy weight on your knee. You can return to everyday activities 24 hours after getting the injection, but it is still a good idea to stay away from lifting and carrying heavy objects.
Protect Your Knee from Stress
Several daily-life activities, such as running and jogging, can result in stress on the knee. Therefore, you should avoid doing such activities for a period of time. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn which activities you should stay away from and for how long.
Don’t Miss the Dose
Gel injections will work for a span of time, but you will eventually need another dose. Missing the dosage can result in pain because the hyaluronic acid in the joint has decreased.
Go over your unique dosage schedule with your doctor and try to incorporate it into your lifestyle for long-lasting relief from pain. You can always call our healthcare professionals at Oak Brook Medical Group if you have any queries regarding injection therapy.
What If the Injections Don’t Work for You?
Gel injections are not an alternative to surgery and there is a chance that these may not work for some people. However, after taking the first dose, one can easily determine if the injections are working for them.
If you experience relief from pain instantly or after a few days, the hyaluronic acid injections are working. However, it’s critical to speak to an expert to discuss your knee anatomy and if gel injections are a solution for you.
Oak Brook Medical Group specializes in administering gel injections for knee pain for residents in Oak Brook, Illinois, and the surrounding communities. Call us today to learn more about the treatment from our professional medical staff.
Are There Any Side Effects of Gel Injections for Knee Pain?
While the benefits of gel injection treatment for knee pain are significant, it is crucial to know if there are any possible side effects. After getting a gel injection in the knee, you may experience the following:
- Irritation or itching
- Muscle pain
Most of these side effects resolve within a few days of treatment and are primarily seen in first-time patients. Talk to your healthcare expert if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Fed Up with Chronic Knee Pain? Oak Brook Medical Group Can Help
If you are dealing with knee pain and want relief from the related symptoms, Oak Brook Medical Group can help. We begin the process with a thorough consultation and exam to identify the cause of the knee pain.
We learn your knee’s anatomy in detail so we can prescribe you the most effective treatment and the correct number of doses of gel injection. We also offer physical therapy for knee pain to double the benefit and offer you a combined treatment plan.
Knee injuries and conditions can severely impact your quality of life. At Oak Brook Medical Group, we treat all types of knee issues, whether acute or chronic. Our team of professionals will guide you through treatments, exercises, and therapies to help manage your knee condition.
To get started, give us a call at 630-317-7478 to schedule a new patient exam, and get the best gel injection treatment for knee pain in Oak Brook.