Osteoarthritis is a fairly common disease. This disease results from the weakening of the joint’s cartilage, the tissue that provides cushion for your bones.
The joint’s cartilage is your bone’s shock absorber. It helps protect your bones when you walk, twist, run, jump, or more. It has synovial fluid, which helps minimize or eliminate joint friction.
The synovial fluid contains hyaluronic acid, a substance that works as the joint’s grease. This helps provide lubrication between your bones and cartilage.
Over time, your cartilage erodes, and the amount of synovial fluid is greatly diminished, this results in osteoarthritis or OA. You will then feel pain in your joints, stiffness, tenderness, and a noticeable loss of flexibility.
Without treatment, the symptoms may become quite serious. Your cartilage may actually disappear. This may require a total knee replacement.
Viscosupplements as OA Treatment
Unfortunately, no permanent treatments have been developed for OA yet, but there are treatment options that can help relieve the symptoms and slow down the progression. Your physician could recommend physical therapy, exercise, and weight loss to help reduce pain and inflammation.
He could also recommend viscosupplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee or lubrication injections. But what are viscosupplements?
Viscosupplements are hyaluronic acid, which are injected to help with joint lubrication. This is one of the newer ways to treat OA. Viscosupplementation is quite popular and widely accepted, and it can help with mild to moderate OA symptoms.
How Does Viscosupplement Injections Work?
People suffering from OA have small amounts of hyaluronic acid, which makes it hard to protect the joint’s cartilage, so the bones end up grinding each other.
With viscosupplementation, your cartilage receives more hyaluronic acid, which then helps with movement and relieves pains. The injections also help stimulate the natural production of hyaluronic acid.
Will You Benefit from Viscosupplementation
If you are suffering from mild to moderate osteoarthritis, viscosupplementation may benefit you especially if you have not responded to any other form of OA treatments, such as pain relievers, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections.
Viscosupplementation may not help everyone suffering from OA. Severe cases may need surgery or joint replacement.
The benefits of viscosupplementation injections are not immediate. You may need several injections before you could enjoy all the benefits of viscosupplementation. You won’t see immediate benefit after the first injection, but you will likely see the effects after several weeks or months from the first injection.
You can have the injections repeated twice a year if you receive any benefit from the initial ones.