Hyaluronic Acid Injections – an effective therapy to reduce arthritic pain in knee joints!

Are you suffering from arthritic pain in the knees? Does it hurt to bend your legs, and to kneel down and stand up? Does it feel like parts of your knee are rubbing against each other? Maybe your knees are creaking and popping? This particular form of Osteoarthritis is caused by low levels of Hyaluronic Acid, which acts as joint lubricant and shock absorber.

You are not alone in your pain:

  • Almost 50 million adults in the US have been told by their physician that they have some form of arthritis
  • About 20% of people with arthritis are disabled;
  • Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, which affects some 20 million Americans;
  • About one-third of American retirees become unable to enjoy so many of the things they had planned to do after retirement, such as playing golf and traveling, because of debilitating pain in the joints;

Thankfully, there’s a solution. It’s called Hyaluronic Acid.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid (also called Hyaluronan or Hyaluronate and Classified as a glucosaminoglycan) is a substance produced naturally by the human body. Hyaluronic Acid is concentrated in the joints, cartilage, and skin. It is widely distributed throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. A natural lubricant, it’s a major component of synovial fluid, or the fluid inside the joints. Hyaluronan is also an important component of articular cartilage, where it is present as a coat around each cell. With an ability to imbibe water, it is responsible for the strength of cartilage and its resistance to compression. The average 150lb person has roughly 15 grams of Hyaluronan in the body, one-third of which is replaced every day.

How does it work?

Injecting Hyaluronic Acid into the joints is an effective way to treat and prevent the symptoms of arthritis. Hyaluronic Acid works well to relieve pain and to support the healing process. I often use Hyaluronic Acid injections to treat knee and shoulder pain caused by Osteoarthritis. The therapeutic injections are administered right at the site of the problem, into the joint itself. In my experience of treating Osteoarthritis over the last decade, adding Prolotherapy to Hyaluronic Acid injection speeds up the recovery. To complement this therapy, I might also recommend that patients eat foods rich in Hyaluronic Acid, or to take oral supplements. The following nutritional sources of Hyaluronic Acid are also good for you:

  • Beef, veal, lamb, turkey, goose, duck
  • Organ meats such as gizzards, livers, hearts, and kidneys.

How many treatments do I need?

Hyaluronic Acid injections are administered once a week. You will need 3-5 injections, depending on the brand used. Hyaluronic Acid is sold under the following brand names: Orthovisc, Supartz, Synvisc and Euflexxa.

Platelet-Rich Plasma – an alternative to Hyaluronic Acid

Although Hyaluronic Acid injections are very effective in relieving pain in knee and shoulder joints, I offer a much more effective treatment, called platelet-rich plasma (PRP). In PRP therapy, a patient’s own highly concentrated platelets are injected into the injured joint, instead of Hyaluronic Acid. This therapy is a faster and better treatment, and usually requires fewer injections to eliminate the problem. However, it is a more expensive out of pocket approach, since Platelet-Rich Plasma are not covered by insurance.

Hyaluronic Acid in the News:

Healio.com, Feb. 20, 2014: “Hyaluronic acid injections effective, safe compared with NSAID treatment for knee OA. Intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid as treatment for patients with knee osteoarthritis displayed similar effectiveness and a superior safety profile compared with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug treatment, according to recent results.” Click here to read the full article. San Francisco Examiner, Mar. 18, 2014: Olympians are (naturally) genetically modified athletes. Athletes in this year’s Winter Olympics have been genetically engineered to perform. This is not only legal, it is natural…. naturally occurring complex sugar, called hyaluronic acid, is isolated from rooster combs and administered orally or injected into the knee to treat osteoarthritis… Click here to read the full article.

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