A joint injection is when medicine – usually a steroid – is injected into your sore joints and muscles, treating both pain and inflammation.
What are joint injections?
Joint injections are used to treat muscle and joint inflammation in many areas of the body, such as the finger, toe, wrist, ankle, shoulder, hip, knee, and tendons.
A patient with arthritis, gout, tendonitis, rotator cuff issues, or musculoskeletal issues may also benefit from joint injections.
Before your joint injections, your doctor will treat the area with a cold spray or other local anaesthesia. Sometimes an aspiration (taking fluid out of a joint) may be performed first, before the medicine – typically steroidal – is injected. Anti-inflammatory agents may also be injected to slow down the accumulation of cells responsible for producing inflammation and pain.
Benefits of joint injections
Joint injections should help decrease any inflammation, swelling, tenderness, or heat within the joint. If successful, relief should be experienced within a few days, and can last for months. Generally, the patient will respond after one injection; however, it may be necessary to administer more.
Side-effects are uncommon, but can include tenderness, warmth, or swelling around the injection site.