Shoulder Joint Injections: An Alternative to Prescription Drugs

You live with daily shoulder pain thanks to osteoarthritis. Countless others feel the same way as you do, along with your counterparts whose shoulder pain is the result of rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, or even frozen shoulder. You do not want to take prescription drugs for extended periods of time. Is there an alternative?


Yes, there is. You could pay a visit to a pain medicine specialist and ask about shoulder joint injections. The therapy is considered a minimally invasive alternative to prescription medications and surgical procedures.


As Simple as a Blood Draw


As a minimally invasive procedure, the shoulder joint injection is as simple as a blood draw. If you are interested, you can watch a short explainer video I found on the Lone Star Pain Medicine website. Lone Star is a Weatherford, TX pain clinic offering shoulder joint injections among dozens of other therapies.


The therapy consists of a simple injection that delivers a selection of medications to the affected joint. If you can manage a blood draw or a vaccination, you should not have any problem with shoulder joint injections. A needle is a needle. Right?


The Basic Premise


Shoulder pain is often the result of inflammation. That is certainly the case with bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis. Inflammation is also a big part of both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Shoulder pain injections are designed to provide immediate inflammation relief followed by long term inflammation management.


Three types of medications are utilized for maximum effect. Hyaluronic acid offers immediate anti-inflammatory benefits while corticosteroids manage long term inflammation. A local anesthetic completes the package by offering short term pain relief while the patient waits for anti-inflammatory medications to kick in.


In terms of pain relief, results vary from one patient to the next. Some patients experience significant relief that lasts for months. Others only find relief for a few weeks. Still others get no relief at all. However, do not let that scare you away. Varying results apply to every medical treatment. As a minimally invasive procedure with the potential to reduce your pain without prescription medications, shoulder joint injections are at least worth investigating.


A Basic Outpatient Procedure


You should also know that shoulder joint injections are administered as a basic outpatient procedure. You go right to your doctor’s office on the appointed day. Once inside the exam room, the first step is to clean and sanitize the injection site. Next, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the skin.


A needle is inserted into the joints so that medication can be delivered as closely to the affected spot as possible. Some pain medicine doctors prefer to combine the injection with fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is an imaging procedure that can help the doctor ensure that medication is being delivered to the right location.


The needle is slowly removed once all of the medication has been delivered. A bandage is placed on the injection site and that is that. As long as a patient doesn’t express any concerns or potential complications, in-office recovery time is unnecessary. The patient is free to go and resume daily activities.


Think About It


If you experience regular shoulder pain due to a condition that causes inflammation, give shoulder joint injections some thought. They are an alternative to prescription medications and more invasive surgeries. You may have to have multiple injections to realize maximum pain relief, but is that a better choice than your other options?


You may determine that shoulder joint injections are not your thing. Even if that is the case, pain medicine doctors should have other treatment options to offer.

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