Injections of hyaluronic acid help lubricate joints, relieve arthritis pain
Viscosupplementation involves injection of hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the synovial fluid of the joints, into the joints that are causing arthritis pain. Usually, viscosupplementation is done in the knees, but the treatment can be applied for other joints as well. If you have mild to moderate arthritis pain that has not responded to other nonsurgical methods, your doctor may recommend viscosupplementation.
What to expect from the treatment
The idea behind viscosupplementation is to lubricate the cartilage that protects bones and keeps them from rubbing against each other. In people with osteoarthritis, hyaluronic acid levels tend to be lower so this form of “supplementation” is to return those levels to normal and help the cartilage do its job better. The injections can also help the body to produce more of its own hyaluronic acid.
Like other types of injection therapies, you may need to have multiple rounds of injections to experience the benefit of reduced inflammation and pain. Some people experience no relief from symptoms while others feel relief that lasts for several months. When viscosupplementation is effective, it helps the body repair itself more quickly and allows you to heal with less pain.