Eat.Fit.Well

Got Osteoarthritis? These Injections Can Erase Your Joint Pain


by Skye Sherman - July 1, 2019


Photo Credit: by Muhammadiqbaldar, Flickr.com
Photo Credit: by Muhammadiqbaldar, Flickr.com

Welcome to the world of osteoarthritis, where stiff joints and aches and pains are the norm. If you’re new to osteoarthritis, we have some information you’ll want to know. Or, even if you’ve suffered from osteoarthritis for a long time, you may feel relieved to learn that there are injections that can erase your joint pain. The discomfort of arthritic conditions are no fun, but this worldwide epidemic does show some promising potential for healing if science keeps progressing forward at the same rate.

If you’re ready to learn all you need to know about osteoarthritis, read on. We’ll take a deep dive into arthritis and associated conditions, but also explore the future of the disease and review some potential courses of treatment that may provide the relief you seek.

What is osteoarthritis?

Many people have heard of arthritis but are not sure exactly what osteoarthritis is. They share a common name but are different conditions. Osteoarthritis is simply the most common type of arthritis.

According to Mayo Clinic, osteoarthritis “occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although the damage to joints can’t be reversed. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and some treatments might slow progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function. … Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. …

Osteoarthritis has often been referred to as a ‘wear and tear’ disease. But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.”

Cartilage is the firm yet cushioning tissue that enables joints to move without friction. However, if the cartilage in the joints wears down completely, bones will rub on bones, much to the great discomfort of the affected patient.

Typically, the symptoms of osteoarthritis develop slowly and gradually get worse over time. People with osteoarthritis in their joints tend to feel pain, stiffness, tenderness, a loss of flexibility, and swelling. Some even experience bone spurs or a grating sensation in their joints. As life with osteoarthritis goes on and the pain and stiffness worsens, some daily tasks may become more difficult, and some people may suffer from a lack of sleep or even depression caused by the situation.

Arthritis tends to be more common in women than men, but anyone can get it. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include older age, obesity, genetics, deformities of the bone, or injuries or repeated stress on the joint, such as what may be caused by certain jobs or sports. The bad news is that arthritis is a growing problem, with more and more people expected to face it every year. We’ll discuss this matter in further detail below.

Clearly, arthritis in all its forms is a major issue affecting society in more ways than we realize.

What’s the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can look very similar at the start. Their early symptoms look a lot alike, so there is at times a risk of misdiagnosis for one by confusing it with the other.

According to the University of Michigan’s health blog, “While the common denominator is joint pain brought on by inflammation, other similar symptoms include limited range of motion, stiff joints, warmth or tenderness at the afflicted area, and intensity of symptoms first thing in the morning. And both diseases are chronic and have no cure. Still, they have different causes, symptoms (eventually), and treatments.”

In both cases, doctors aim to reduce pain in patients as well as maintain normal day-to-day functioning as much as possible and prevent the degeneration of the patient’s joints. From there, however, the conditions differ quite a bit and they require different management strategies. In other words, it’s essential not to get these mixed up because their root cause is quite different.

While osteoarthritis results from wear and tear on the joints that degenerates the cartilage of the joints over time, rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disorder. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system thinks the membrane within the joints is a threat and attacks it, often in several joints at the same time, which results in significant inflammation and pain for the sufferer.

So, while osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may sound the same in name and share some commonalities, in reality, they are quite different from each other. In either case, though, living a healthy lifestyle--including smoking cessation, avoiding obesity, and getting plenty of exercise--is key to feeling better.

Osteoarthritis is a growing problem

Osteoarthritis is a growing problem. According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis affects an estimated 31 million Americans, and millions of Canadians as well. Estimates put the number of adults with arthritis in general, not just osteoarthritis, at about 54 million. Even babies and children can get arthritis or a rheumatic condition.

In addition, arthritis is actually the leading cause of disability when it comes to U.S. adults, and most of the adults with arthritis are of working age, making this quite a costly disease. In fact, some statistics posit that arthritis costs the U.S. over $185 billion per year!

The bad news is that, judging from current trends, it seems that osteoarthritis will only continue to worsen and become more prevalent. The Arthritis Foundation claims that by the year 2040, the number of people who are expected to have arthritis will stand at more than 78 million.

Another study, published by Science Direct, studied data from the Skåne Healthcare Register (SHR) in Sweden and concluded, “By the year 2032, the proportion of the population aged ≥45 with doctor-diagnosed OA is estimated to increase from 26.6% to 29.5% (any location), from 13.8% to 15.7% for the knee and 5.8–6.9% for the hip. … In 2032, at least an additional 26,000 individuals per 1 million population aged ≥45 years are estimated to have consulted a physician for OA in a peripheral joint compared to 2012. These findings underscore the need to address modifiable risk factors and develop new effective OA treatments.”

These statistics and the estimated cost of arthritic conditions prove just how important it is for scientists to keep studying them and finding new solutions that prevent the disease and help patients feel better.

Knee pain? It may be knee osteoarthritis

Suffering from knee pain? Many people face knee pain and assume it’s a simple injury or just a natural part of the wear and tear of everyday living. And that might be true, at least partially: knee pain may actually be a case of knee osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is a very common form of osteoarthritis and affects a lot of people. It often occurs as people age, or in people who put a lot of stress on their knees with heavy lifting or overuse, often due to the rigorous nature of their jobs or the sports they play. Fortunately, there are some pretty standard treatment options available that can hold sufferers over for a while.

Because knee osteoarthritis is a case of having lower levels of hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid--in other words, not enough of the gel-like liquid that cushions your joints and absorbs the shocks of physical activity--an obvious treatment is to inject more hyaluronic acid into the joints. This common form of treatment for knee osteoarthritis is called viscosupplementation. Viscosupplements are an FDA-approved treatment option for osteoarthritis of the knees. They consist of injecting hyaluronic acid into the knee joint to help provide better protection and fluidity. We’ll discuss viscosupplements in further detail below.

Another find that’s been making news in recent weeks is the fact that there is a diabetes drug that may help protect against knee osteoarthritis. According to Everyday Health, “Obese people who took metformin showed reduced cartilage loss.” Metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet) is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes but may also protect patients against developing osteoarthritis in their knees. It certainly warrants further research.

The future of osteoarthritis

While the future of osteoarthritis seems bleak when you look at the predictions for the future, there’s good news, too: further research is being done to help find a solution. Scientists are finding some promising results. Things like gene therapy, stem cell therapy, hydrogel, diabetes drugs for osteoarthritis, and hormone therapy all hold promise for the future.

In the Netherlands, for example, a group of scientists have received a large grant to explore a potential treatment that uses hydrogels and stem cells to not just provide relief, but help the joint heal. The idea is that while the hydrogel helps to stop the joint’s deterioration, the stem cells will encourage new growth to help rejuvenate and replenish the cartilage. Healing the joint in this way could mean curing the condition.

According to a study published in Medscape, “Postmenopausal women taking menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) were significantly less likely to develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) compared with those who did not take MHT.” This is good news, especially for older women, who tend to have higher instances of osteoarthritis of the knees.

Medications for osteoarthritis

While the future of osteoarthritis may mean healing, if scientists are successful in their studies and testing, the current treatment route is to use viscosupplement injections to provide weeks or months of relief. The common types of injections for joint pain include corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and placental tissue matrix (PTM). There is a serious risk of allergic reaction when it comes to corticosteroid injections, so in any case, make sure to discuss any allergies or other conditions with your doctor before moving forward.

Viscosupplementation for joint pain includes such injections as Euflexxa, Hyalgan, Orthovisc, Monovisc, Synvisc, Synvisc One, and Supartz, described in further detail below.

For knee osteoarthritis specifically, there are two types of shots available to help relieve pain: hyaluronic acid and corticosteroids. Hyaluronic acid injections are injections of gel that is chemically similar to the body’s natural joint fluid. This fluid works as both a lubricant for the joint and a source of protection to help absorb shocks the joint experiences. One round of treatment, which can consist of several injections, can provide months of relief to the patient, sometimes even up to a year of pain relief and restored flexibility in the joints.

See the WebMD table of hyaluronic acid injections below to learn more about the injections available for knee osteoarthritis.

Table 1: Hyaluronic Acid Injections by WebMD
Table 1: Hyaluronic Acid Injections by WebMD


























Side effects of these injections include those that are typical for injections, such as pain, swelling, skin irritation, and tenderness, but typically, these side effects are mild and do not last long. Sometimes, the prescribed treatment route moves to hyaluronic acid injections--which are only approved for use in the knee--when corticosteroid injections don’t work.

Here at Canada Pharmacy Online, we stock a variety of arthritis and anti-inflammatory medications, and we also offer a variety of viscosupplement injections to erase joint pain and help the knee move with more fluidity.

Specific viscosupplement injections for joint pain include Euflexxa, Hyalgan, Orthovisc, Monovisc, Synvisc and Synvisc One, and Supartz. We stock all of these save for the last one--just click the links on each to be taken to our product page. In fact, viscosupplement injections for osteoarthritis are among our top sellers.

Check out the table below for a side-by-side comparison and contrasting of the viscosupplement injections we carry. You can review the prices and dosages of each to better make an informed decision with your doctor.

Table 2: Osteoarthritis Meds Available at CanadaPharmacyOnline.com
Table 2: Osteoarthritis Meds Available at CanadaPharmacyOnline.com

Most of these are injections of sodium hyaluronate, which is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. There are side effects and potential risks for each, as with any medication, so make sure to discuss these courses of treatment in depth with your doctor before you take the first injection.

If you have a valid prescription for viscosupplement injections, you can order from our fully licensed Canadian pharmacy to experience better prices and more convenient delivery of the prescriptions you need. We carry a wide variety of prescriptions to help treat osteoarthritis and we ship worldwide. We are standing by to assist you with your order--feel free to buy now and give us a call if you have any questions.

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