Hyaluronic acid is a substance that’s naturally found in your body. It surrounds your cells and performs a number of functions. Hyaluronic acid provides nutrients to your cells, removes wastes, reduces inflammation, promotes healing, and cushions your body’s tissues. Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in your body’s connective tissue. It is found in the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints, your ligaments and tendons, and even the net-like structure that keeps your skin looking elastic and supple.
The problem is that as you become older, your body doesn’t produce as much hyaluronic acid as it once did. Your skin may begin to lose its tautness, your joints may not glide like they used to, and your ligaments and tendons may become tight and injury prone. Declining hyaluronic acid may indirectly contribute to connective tissue injuries and health conditions.
At BodaHealth, we believe that the solution in some cases may be hyaluronic acid injections. Both in research studies and clinical experience, the use of hyaluronic acid is proving its worth in the treatment of both joint and tendon conditions.
Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage between the bones in a joint wears away. Hyaluronic acid is an important component of your joints’ synovial fluid. While cartilage protects the ends of the bones within a joint, your synovial fluid works to create space between the bones, lubricate, and regulate the cellular activities within the joint. With repeated wear and tear and with age, the density of the hyaluronic acid in your synovial fluid decreases, making it less viscous and less able to protect your joints. Researchers have discovered that hyaluronic acid injections in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee can reduce pain and stiffness and improve function, delaying the need for joint replacement surgery. Treatment with hyaluronic acid injections has been approved by the Health Canada for osteoarthritis of the knee, and the results are promising in the treatment of other joints.
Your tendons are strong connective tissue that attach your muscles to bones. Tendon injuries include tendonitis and tendonosis. Tendonitis is when a tendon has become inflamed. Over time, tendonitis can progress to tendonosis, which means that there are tiny tears in the tendon, often caused by overuse. Tendon problems can arise from an injury, overuse, and aging, and you’re more likely to have a tendon injury if it’s first been weakened by overuse.
Tendon problems seem like they take forever to heal, which raises the need for new treatment strategies. Research on its effectiveness suggests that hyaluronic acid injections can help. Early research supports the use of hyaluronic acid injections in tendon repair, because it helps decrease inflammation, increase cellular activity, increase collagen (a connective tissue), and aids in adding glide to the tendon surface.
The Pros and Cons of Hyaluronic Injections
At BodaHealth, we have found that hyaluronic acid injections can be a good option for our patients for a number of reasons. Among them:
- It’s a substance that’s found naturally in your body, and produces few, if any side effects.
- Hyaluronic acid injections may be an effective alternative to cortisone injections, which can degrade the joint tissue if used too frequently. It may also provide a good option for patients who can’t or don’t want to take pain medications long-term.
- In treating advanced osteoarthritis, hyaluronic acid injections may help delay joint replacement surgery.
- Hyaluronic acid has anti-inflammatory and cell proliferation effects, which can help speed the healing in injured connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments.
- Hyaluronic acid injections are versatile. They may be used to treat a number of conditions, including osteoarthritis of the hands, trigger finger, Tennis elbow, rotator cuff issues, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.
While hyaluronic acid injections are considered safe, after an injection treatment, you may have temporary swelling or mild soreness at the site of the injection for a few days.
Hyaluronic Injection Treatments at BodaHealth
If you choose to have hyaluronic acid injections at BodaHealth, your treatment plan is based on your health history, the history of your injury, and the nature of your pain. A single treatment with hyaluronic acid injections may be effective, or you may be prescribed three to six treatments spaced at least a week apart. For patients who are in a great deal of pain, an injectable analgesic called Procaine may be used with hyaluronic acid.
It has been our experience that hyaluronic acid injections produce results fairly quickly. Hyaluronic acid is an important component of connective tissue health, and at BodaHealth, we are committed to offering you safe, effective, and natural options to relieve your pain and restore function. If you’re suffering from musculoskeletal pain and want to talk about hyaluronic acid injections or any other treatment options, call us at BodaHealth today.