There are several treatment options available for people experiencing joint pain, including physiotherapy, injections or surgery. If you’ve looked into what’s available for your joint pain, chances are you’ll have come across corticosteroid (also known as cortisone) injections and you may be wondering how these differ from viscosupplementation.

Corticosteroid is an anti-inflammatory medicine that is similar to the steroids produced by our own bodies. A corticosteroid injection is designed to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness caused by inflammation in the joint.

Viscosupplement formulas are made with hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance that helps lubricate your joint and absorb shocks. While it also reduces pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, it does this by boosting low hyaluronic acid levels in the joint rather than by reducing inflammation.

Both types of injections will start to give you some relief after 48 hours, however, the effects of viscosupplementation generally last for longer. The effect of corticosteroid varies from person to person, but usually lasts for about six weeks. Viscosupplementation on the other hand can last for six months to a year.

Like most medicines, both corticosteroid and viscosupplementation can have side effects such as pain and soreness at the injection site. However, studies have shown that there are fewer side effects with viscosupplementation than with other treatments, and these tend to be less severe and long lasting. You can also have viscosupplementation as many times as you need, but there is a limit to the number of corticosteroid injections you can have because repeated injections can deteriorate the cartilage in the joint.

If you want to learn more about your treatment options, you can book a consultation with a pain specialist today by calling 020 7118 1771. They’ll be able to answer all of your questions and recommend the right course of treatment for you.