Injection Therapy

Xavier. July 29, 2021

Injection therapy is something that we have recently started doing in our Sittingbourne clinic to help patients whose joints are inflamed, they have tried all other treatments and none have worked. Injection therapy gives a person better mobility, by reducing the swelling and pain, allowing them to function better, and sleep better as pain is reduced.

I see many different conditions and not all of them can be treated by injection therapy. However, those that can benefit include :

  • Osteoarthritis of joints, such as hip, knee, elbow shoulder
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rotator cuff impingement
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Inflamed joints and tendons
  • Bursitis
  • Tennis/ Golfer’s elbow
  • Tendinitis & tendinopathies

There are 2 type of injection therapy that we use in the Sittingbourne clinic to help our patients :

  • Ostenil - a natural plant based product that is kind to the body and has no known side effects.
  • Steroids – powerful chemicals that are injected into the body to supplement naturally produced chemicals. The side effects of these are known and will be mentioned a little bit later. Among other uses, they are good anti-inflammatories.

When injecting a patient, the session lasts approximately 30 minutes from start to finish, but the actual injection just takes a few seconds! The rest of the time is used to talk about hypersensitivity or allergies to drugs and other relevant medical information and explaining the process.

After the session has finished, we like our patients to have a tea or coffee in the reception area so that if there are any immediate effects, we are on hand. Generally, this will not be any more than about 30 minutes and then you can be on your way!

The first effects and improvements are usually felt within 24-48 hours. The first day after the therapy, you may feel a little sore, but this is perfectly normal. Depending on the area where the injection has taken place, we will schedule and appointment for a fixed point in the future. As a rough guide, it would be 2 weeks for a condition such as frozen shoulder, 4 weeks for any arthritis related condition and up to 6 weeks for a joint injury, such as the ankle. Of course, this will vary depending on each patient, so these are only indicative.

The runners we treat in our clinic prefer the Ostenil therapy. This replicates synovial fluid, which reduces friction in the joints. As a person ages, putting pressure on the joints (as running does), the joints start to wear down and are less well-lubricated, causing more friction which in turn causes the pain that people come to see us for in the first place. The injection is the equivalent of putting WD40 on a creaky door hinge.

We would not expect to do this injection more than 2-3 times annually, and generally it is less than this, but it depends greatly on the person and the condition of the joint.

Steroid injection therapy works in the same way, using artificial chemicals that are designed to copy the natural processes of the human body. The effects of a steroid injection are usually seen between 2 days and 2 weeks, depending on the individual. When steroids are injected, they are in the form of a crystal. As this crystal melts and mixes with the natural bodily fluids, the effects begin to be felt. Once the steroids have been fully absorbed, the effects can be felt for 6-12 months.

Steroids have some side effects and I wanted to talk about them briefly. Fortunately, we do not see these often as we are very careful in our initial assessment and will not recommend them if we think there is a risk. As for any major or minor procedure, there is always the risk of an infection. When a foreign substance is introduced to the human body, there is always the chance that the body will reject it, causing an infection. We will do everything we can to take precautions and minimise the risk, but we can never guarantee that this will not happen. Other known side effects are anaphylactic shock, damage to tendons or skin discolouration around the injection site.

Injection therapy can only be undertaken by a qualified, skilled and highly trained practitioner and we are fortunate to have such practitioners. Imagine that the joint is the engine in a car. If you look after it and service it well, the better it will run and the longer it will last.

Human joints are exactly the same. The better you look after them, the longer that you can enjoy the quality of life that you deserve!

To visit our Steroid Injection therapy page, click here

To visit our Ostenil Injection Therapy page, click here

To book an appointment for Injection therapy, click here

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