Hyaluronic acid injections are popular cosmetic treatments that can fill in lines and wrinkles or plump lips. But did you know that hyaluronic acid injections can also be beneficial for painful joints? If you suffer from joint pain, you may be able to get relief from viscosupplementation, or hyaluronic acid injections. Here is what you need to know about hyaluronic acid injections that can do much more than just fill in facial lines and wrinkles.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
While hyaluronic acid (HA) may sound like a drug, it is actually a naturally-occurring substance in the body. The skin, connective tissue and synovial fluid in joints all contain HA to retain moisture. HA is a gel-like substance that collects moisture. It is vital to make the skin soft and plump or to lubricate moving components like joints or the eyes. Unfortunately, hyaluronic acid production can slow down with age, resulting in drier, thinner skin or less lubrication in the joints. HA injections are used to replace lost hyaluronic acid in the joints or skin to restore a youthful level of moisture.
What Is Viscosupplementation?
Viscosupplementation uses HA injections to support proper joint function. For those with osteoarthritis in the knee joints, friction can cause inflammation and pain. Viscosupplementation with hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid can increase lubrication within the joint. The HA injections improve the consistency of the synovial fluid, and usually, a series of injections are performed over several weeks.
While there is not a cure for osteoarthritis, many people obtain joint pain relief with hyaluronic acid injections. The pain relief is not usually immediate, as it can require several weeks for the full effects. Viscosupplementation can offer joint pain relief for six months or longer in some cases. The treatments may be combined with other interventional and regenerative treatments for joint pain for maximum relief.
Are HA Injections Right for You?
If you have chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis that has not been well controlled with conservative treatments, viscosupplementation may be an option to consider. The procedure can be completed in a brief visit to the doctor, with little to no downtime or side effects. To learn more about HA injections and other interventional or regenerative medicine treatments for knee arthritis pain we offer, come see our pain specialists at Caliber Pain™ in New York City.