Hey, El Paso! I’m Dr. David, physical therapist with El Paso Manual Physical Therapy.
I’ve got a knee joint here, and I want to talk to you all about knee injections.
It’s where they take a big needle and stick a bunch of medication 🙁
They’re anti-inflammatory medications and pain medications called corticosteroids.
They’ll inject them into the knee for knee pain relief.
Do they really work?
Does it really take away knee pain?
We got a question from a client this week about how effective they are and does it really work?
It’s a mixed answer.
The short-term answer short-term pain relief is something that knee injections help out with, but what you have to watch out for is most people want to not have to be getting injections on a regular basis, and they want their knee pain gone for life so that they can get back to doing what they love, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
If you need to go get an injection because you’re just miserable right now for knee pain, by all means, do so, but let’s not rely on those for the long-term.
Let me go through the top three reasons that you should look to avoid steroid injections in the long-term.
Reason #1 – Once you get the first injection, it’s so much easier to start getting the next injection and the next injection after that.
They do relieve pain for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, but if the underlying root problem, which is usually mechanical, there’s something with the joint, or the muscles, or the ligaments that’s wrong, that’s not addressed by the injection, and once the medication wears off, the pain will return.
Sometimes, worse because you haven’t been addressing the underlying problem.
Many of our clients that we see that are chronic have had several injections, and after you’ve had so many, the doctors will usually say, “Well, injections didn’t work. Let’s start talking to a surgeon.” We don’t want to go down that route.
We don’t want anybody cutting on the knee joints and replacing anything or cutting things that are natural in your knee.
We want to keep your knee as natural as possible, so please avoid the injections because it leads to more injections down the road, and it doesn’t treat the underlying problem.
Reason #2 – It damages tissues inside the knee.
Research shows that after three to four injections within a year timeframe, it actually begins to break down ligaments, and cartilage, and other connective tissues that are important for the stability of your knee.
Your doctor might even have already told you. “We can only do this so often. We can’t give you injections back to back, month after month. We have a limit because it’s hazardous to your health.”
It is helping with the pain and inflammation, but at the expense of degrading some of the tissues over time, so it is very dangerous if you use steroid medications over the long-term.
Reason #3 – It doesn’t make you stronger or less stiff in the knee joint.
They’re literally just giving you focused medication inside the painful area, but that doesn’t do anything to improve the mobility of your knee or the strength of the surrounding muscles and ligaments, which is usually what needs to happen for a mechanical problem that has been there for years, maybe even decades.
That rounds out the top three reasons you should avoid steroid injections in the knee.
Again, if you need it because you’re just in so much pain, please go get it, but make sure that you’re looking to form a long-term plan to resolve the knee pain for the long-term when you need a long-term fix.
That’s what we here at El Paso Manual Physical Therapy specialize in.
We’re not into the quick fixes.
We’re into the long-term fixes so that you can learn what to do on your own to manage your knee health so that you can get back to doing the things that you love to do.
Whether it’s hiking the Franklin Mountains, taking the dog for a walk, playing with the grandkids, you need your knees throughout your life, and you want your natural knees as much as possible, nothing artificially put in here.
Guys, if you have more questions about your specific knee problem, we’d love to chat with you on the phone and just learn more about how we can help you out even if it’s over the phone or if we can share with you some information.
There’s no commitment to schedule anything or do anything with us more than that.
We just want to help out El Paso.
You can also visit our website, and we’ve got tons of free materials that you can download there.
We’ve got lots of blog articles as well that talk about the knee pain and other body parts. Please use our website for your knee health.
I hope you have a wonderful day. We’ll see you next time!