Joint injections are a commonly used treatment method for many joint conditions. The rationale for an injection may differ for different patients: for some patients it is a one-time therapy meant to get them more comfortable in the short run until their therapy ultimately solves the issue. For other patients it may be the only good chronic therapy available for their condition.
Nobody wants injections but sometimes they are the best treatment for your particular problem. If you need one there are ways to make them nearly pain free.
1. Tiny needles- speaks for itself
2. “Freeze spray” or ethylene glycol is a cold spray-on agent that I often use to help numb the skin prior to injection
3. Experience. More experience= better accuracy. I perform shoulder and elbow injections daily.
Injections that I DO NOT DO
While I do perform cortisone injections and injections with numbing medications for certain conditions, I typically do NOT inject the hyaluronic acid products such as Synvisc or Orthovisc into the shoulder or elbow joints. Why?
1. They have questionable effectiveness. Most studies show marginal benefits at best. After reviewing the literature and weighing the cost, discomfort and time involved they do not seem to justify the gain or lack thereof.
2. They are not FDA approved in the shoulder and elbow.