Common treatments for joint pain can make arthritis worse, studies show
A common injection to treat arthritis can speed up the onset disease instead of preventing it, according to new studies.
Both studies were presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
In the first study, researchers from the University of California, San Franciscostudied patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis, the most common form of the disease, affecting more than 32 million adults in the US
Among the subjects, 70 received intra-articular injections, while 140 did not during the two-year period. Statistical analysis showed that corticosteroid injections in the knee were “significantly associated” with overall progression of knee osteoarthritis.
The group receiving hyaluronic injections showed reduced progression of osteoarthritis, particularly in the marrow lesions, according to the study.
In another study, researchers at Chicago Medical School from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science studied the progression of osteoarthritis in patients receiving corticosteroid and hyaluronic acid injections.
Patients injected with corticosteroids had “significantly more” progression of osteoarthritis — including narrowing of the medial joint space — than patients injected with hyaluronic acid.
“The results suggest that hyaluronic acid injections should be further investigated for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis symptoms and that steroid injections should be used with more caution,” researcher and medical student Azad Darbandi said in a statement.
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