Studies suggest that regular treatment of joint pain can make arthritis worse

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A common injection to treat arthritis may hasten the onset of the 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.

FILE: Osteoarthritis of the knee.  Wear and tear after the destruction of the cartilage in various areas of the knee joint.  Frontal MRI of the knees.

FILE: Osteoarthritis of the knee. Wear and tear after the destruction of the cartilage in various areas of the knee joint. Frontal MRI of the knees.
(BSIP/Universal Imaging Group via Getty Images)

In the first study, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, studied patients who had been 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 over a two-year period. Statistical analysis showed that corticosteroid injections into the knee were “significantly associated” with overall progression of osteoarthritis in the knee.

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According to the study, the group that received hyaluronic injections showed reduced progression of osteoarthritis, specifically in the spinal cord lesions.

In the second study, researchers at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Chicago School of Medicine studied the progression of osteoarthritis in patients who received injections of corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid.

Patients injected with corticosteroids had “significantly more” osteoarthritis progression, including narrowing of the medial joint space, than patients who received an injection of hyaluronic acid.

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“The results suggest that hyaluronic acid injections should be further explored for the management of knee osteoarthritis symptoms and that steroid injections should be used with more caution,” he said. researcher and medical student Azad Darbandi in a statement.

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