Viscosupplementation therapy is a highly effective treatment designed to help reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritis. It is most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis in the knee and involves injecting hyaluronic acid directly into the affected joint. Viscosupplementation aims to improve and manage symptoms, without the need for invasive surgery or addictive pain medications.
Living With Osteoarthritis
The bones that make up joints are typically protected by a layer of cartilage. This helps the bones glide smoothly against each other. Hyaluronic acid is a thick gel-like fluid that coats the cartilage. It is produced naturally by the body and works as a lubricant and shock absorber to reduce friction and shock that can occur during movement.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes cartilage in joints to break down gradually over time. It can lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness, and as the cartilage deteriorates, it can lead to painful bone-on-bone rubbing. People with osteoarthritis also typically have less hyaluronic acid in their joints compared with those without the condition.
The Science Behind Viscosupplementation
Viscosupplementation therapy is an FDA-approved procedure to treat knee pain. It is designed to replace the lack of hyaluronic acid in the knee joint to help reduce symptoms. The treatment is delivered by injection into the space inside the knee joint. Treatment works by lubricating the knee joint and creating more cushioning during movement. This helps to reduce pain and improve mobility, allowing you to move better without experiencing pain.
Is Treatment Right For Me?
Viscosupplementation is often considered when other treatments such as over-the-counter pain medications and corticosteroid injections have failed to work successfully. It may also be suitable for individuals who are looking for a more effective natural treatment and want to avoid or delay the need for invasive joint surgery or the use of addictive pain-relief medication.
Viscosupplementation typically works best for individuals with mild to moderate knee arthritis. It can be an effective treatment option to help reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee. Although treatment is usually recommended for osteoarthritis, there is evidence to suggest it may also be an effective treatment for those with other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
What Does Treatment Involve?
Treatment is customized to your individual needs, but initially, you may be injected with a numbing medicine into the space within the knee joint. If there is any fluid within the joint, this may also be drained prior to treatment. Hyaluronic acid is then injected into the space inside the knee joint. It may take several weeks to experience pain relief, and more than one treatment is usually recommended. After following the course of treatment, you should notice a significant improvement in symptoms.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
Viscosupplementation is considered a very safe procedure, but as with any type of treatment, there can be risks involved. A very small percentage of patients experience complications, but they are usually only temporary. They can include:
- A flare-up of arthritis symptoms just after the injection, usually only short-term
- Pain, swelling, and warmth at the injection site
- Allergic reaction
- Treatment fails to work successfully
If you experience signs of infection, such as pain, redness, excessive heat, or fever, you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
What Can I Expect After The Procedure?
Your healthcare provider will let you know exactly what to expect, but viscosupplementation is a quick procedure, and you will often be able to go home shortly afterwards. You should check with your healthcare provider whether it is ok for you to drive. Side effects often don’t last long and can usually be treated effectively with a cold compress/ice pack. You should avoid excessive walking, strenuous exercise such as running or weight-lifting, and standing for long periods of time for 48 hours.
Although treatment may not work for everyone, viscosupplementation has been found to provide significant symptom relief for many patients with knee arthritis. Treatment usually lasts for approximately 6 months. Follow-up viscosupplementation treatments may be necessary in due course. Your healthcare provider will let you know what to expect.
Viscosupplementation Therapy for Knee Pain at NIVA Health
If you are looking for lasting knee pain relief, visit NIVA Health. We provide the highest standard natural pain relief treatments and personalize viscosupplementation treatments to match the needs of each individual patient.
To find out more about our knee pain program or how viscosupplementation can help you, call us today at (866) 377-5872 to schedule your free consultation. Alternatively, you can visit us at one of our convenient locations, or request an appointment online or sign up online for a free consult.