Offered at Dignity Health, joint injections are typically used to reduce pain, promote healing, and improve mobility. Medication injected into a joint, a nearby fluid-filled sac (bursa), or around a tendon can reduce inflammation and pain for weeks or months. Injections are often used along with other orthopedic treatments, such as physical therapy. Joint aspiration, another type of injection, is a procedure using a needle and syringe to remove joint fluid to diagnose the cause of swelling in a joint.
Why Injections are Provided at Dignity Health
Depending on the origin of the problem, cortisone steroids (or corticosteroids) can be injected into a number of places in the body to relieve pain. A long-acting anesthetic is often added to speed up pain relief. The goal depends on the condition being treated. For example:
- Joint injections: Cortisone steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. They are injected into the joints to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, among other conditions.
- Ligament injections: A doctor may inject corticosteroids into tissue around ligaments in the elbow, knee, or ankle as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve pain and promote healing.
- Tendon injections: Corticosteroids can reduce inflammation in or around a tendon.
- Nerve injections: If a nerve gets compressed, corticosteroids are injected into the tissues surrounding the injured nerve — not the nerve itself. The injection can relieve symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. Nerve injections are frequently used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.
What to Expect from Injections
Depending on the location of your pain and equipment needed, your procedure will probably take place in a Dignity Health doctor’s office. Local anesthesia may be used to control pain during the procedure. In some cases, an orthopedic doctor may use X-ray or ultrasound images to guide the needle and medication to the precise area.
Recovering from Injections
After you receive an injection, take it easy for the next two days. During your recovery, apply ice to the area three or four times a day for about 20 minutes. You can take over-the-counter painkillers, if needed, if the anesthesia wears off before the injection medication begins to work.
Some corticosteroids will relieve your symptoms right away, but others can take up to a week to work. When it does take effect, you should begin feeling better. Talk to your doctor at Dignity Health if you have any questions about injections and the right joint pain treatment for you.
Dignity Health offers several types of injections in the Sacramento region as part of our advanced rehabilitation services.
Take the Next Step
If you’re suffering from joint pain, connect with an orthopedic specialist. Call Dignity Health in Sacramento at (916) 851-2511 to request a consultation today or request an appointment online.