Many people suffer from joint pain with as many as 30% of adults claiming to have suffered in the past month. For those who have chronic pain, as defined by pain lasting for several weeks to months, it can be debilitating and impact their quality of life. A collaborative discussion between physicians and patients will help individuals evaluate treatment options with the goal of reducing inflammation and preserving joint function.
Certain factors can make people more susceptible to joint pain. Painful joints become more common as people age, and those who are obese or are genetically disposed have a higher chance of suffering. Joint pain can be a symptom of numerous medical conditions including arthritis, bursitis, gout, and carpel tunnel syndrome. It can affect any part of your body but it most commonly reported in the knees, followed by shoulders, hips and back.
There are a variety of treatment options available to those with joint pain. Many sufferers choose to treat with oral or topical pain relievers. For those who do not get adequate relief from pain relievers, a next course of action may be joint injections of medicines or steroids. These injections can be administered by several types of doctors such as Orthopedists, Pain Specialists, Rheumatologists, Anesthesiologists, Family Practitioners and General Practitioners.
Relief from joint injections is typically felt within a few days following the injection and can last from as little as 2-3 weeks to up to several months. Shorter relief windows or ineffective pain relief can be the result of incorrect placement of the injection, an erroneous dose or a misdiagnosis. Some doctors will leverage ultrasound or fluoroscopy technology to provide guidance on the needle location within the joint as missing the area may result in an ineffective injection. Fluoroscopy is a type of x-ray that emits radiation upon usage so exposure to both patients and the medical staff needs to be closely monitored.