Chronic hip and shoulder pain are some of the most common types of joint pain and can be caused by a myriad of issues. Proper injection therapy options, such as shoulder joint injections and hip joint injections, can offer serious relief for many people and allow them to get back to enjoying their life.
Hip and Shoulder Injections
Joint pain can be intense and debilitating in many ways that deeply impact your quality of life. Joint pain can cause serious mobility problems including even the simplest tasks. It can prevent people from walking for long periods of time, climbing stairs, participating in hobbies, being employed in certain types of jobs, traveling, and much more. Chronic hip and shoulder pain are some of the most common types of joint pain and can be caused by a myriad of issues. Proper pain management options, such as shoulder joint injections and hip joint injections, can offer serious relief for many people and allow them to get back to enjoying their life.
Anatomy of the Joint
Joints are what connect two or more bones in the body and allow for movement. Joints are made up of:
Cartlidge: A kind of tissue that covers the surface of a bone and helps reduce friction between the connecting bones to ease movement.
Synovial Membrane: This membrane lines the joint and seals it into a joint capsule. The membrane produces a clear, sticky fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid acts as a type of lubricant in the joint.
Ligaments: Strong, elastic bands of connective tissue that surround the joint to provide support to the joint and the connected bones.
Tendons: Another type of strong connective tissue on each side of the joint that is attached to muscles, which control the movement of the joints.
Bursae: These are fluid filled sacs that are located between ligaments, bones, and other structures and provide cushioning of the friction in the joint.
Causes of Hip and Shoulder Joint Pain
Chronic hip and shoulder pain can have a multitude of causes and if pain persists then you should see a doctor to receive treatment. Several major causes range as the following:
Arthritis or Osteoarthritis: This is one of the biggest causes of hip and shoulder joint pain. Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation in the joints, which leads to pain and stiffness that tends to get worse with age. Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that is more degenerative in nature. When osteoarthritis sets into a joint it will breakdown the cartilage in the joints causing the underlying bone to change, which then causes damage to the joint and bone. This makes movement very painful for people. Arthritis affects millions of people in the United States alone.
Polymyalgia rheumatica: This is an inflammatory disease that causes stiffness and aches in the affected areas. It occurs in the neck, hip, and shoulders and typically affects those in their sixties and seventies. This disease sets in very quickly and people usually feel it in at least two of the areas just mentioned. It can be especially painful in the morning when people are starting to get out of bed, as they were laying relatively motionless for several hours during the night while they slept. This can contribute heavily to stiffness and pain.
Bursitis: A painful condition that affects the fluid filled sacs known as bursae. These bursae become inflamed and it most commonly occurs in the shoulders, hips, and elbows. However, it can occur in any joint that is frequently performing repetitive movement. Generally, bursitis will go away within a few weeks after proper treatment, but flare-ups can happen from time to time. With bursitis, joints can become stiff, red, or swollen and they can ache and hurt with movement or when pressed on.
Injury: Injury to the hip and shoulder can take many forms. Injuries can be caused by sprains, strains, overuse, trauma, or lying or sitting in uncomfortable positions for too long.
Shoulder Injections and Hip Injections
There are several treatment options for chronic shoulder and hip pain and your doctor may consider giving you a shoulder injection or hip injection, depending on where your pain is located, as one of those options. While injections may not always be the first line of care in your treatment plan, these injections can help restore movement and decrease your pain levels significantly. There are multiple types of injections that doctors use for shoulder and hip joint pain, but many are not currently recommended by the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation. The main kind of injection that is most commonly used is cortisone shots.
Cortisone injections, also known as corticosteroid injections or steroid shots, are a strong anti-inflammatory medication that reduces pain and swelling and can bring long-lasting relief for patients. Corticosteroids operate in a similar way to the naturally occurring hormone cortisol. It is also important to note that these steroid shots are not the same as anabolic steroids and will not build muscle. Anabolic steroids have a known history of being abused by athletes, bodybuilders, or anyone looking to bulk up. Once the corticosteroid has been injected into the joint it should start to work in about two to three days. There is a chance that some people may not experience any relief at all, but those who do can see reduced symptoms for as long as six months. Since the corticosteroids will not usually start to kick in right away, doctors may mix a local anesthetic into the shot to provide more immediate relief. People can only receive a few shots a year at most because some negative side effects can start to occur with repeated use in a relatively short time. For example, frequent use has been linked to the weakening of the muscle and ligaments surrounding the knee.
Another kind of injection that is used often is a hyaluronic acid injection. However, the research has not consistently shown these injections to be effective for everyone in reducing pain and improving function and they are not recommended by the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation. Still, many doctors believe in their effectiveness and continue to use them in their practice.
Hyaluronic Acid Injection
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is found in the synovial fluid, which surrounds the joint and acts as a natural lubricant and shock absorber. These injections are specifically used for osteoarthritis in the shoulders or hips, as hyaluronic acid is worn away by the disease. So, for this procedure, a gel-like substance (hyaluronic acid) is injected into the joint to replace what has been lost.
What to Expect When Receiving an Injection
Typically, when you go to see your doctor for a hip or shoulder injection you will be brought to a room to lay on a table, where the procedure will take about thirty minutes to an hour. A numbing agent will be applied to the injection site and doctors may use x-rays or ultrasound technology to help guide them when administering the injection. A small needle will then be injected into the joint to deliver the medication directly into the affected area. You will then wait a few more minutes than your doctor may ask you to move around some to see if it is still painful.
If you find yourself suffering from severe hip and shoulder pain, call Pain and Spine Specialists today! We are a team of highly qualified providers who will properly evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment. Let us help you return to a fully functioning life, free from pain.
Call us in Maryland at 301-703-8767 | View MD Providers), in Pennsylvania at 724-603-3560 (View PA Providers) or in Virginia (540-433-1905 | View VA Providers)to make an appointment or use the form on our site to send us a message.