Corticosteroid injections, which are often used for relief of joint paid, may actually be associated with faster progression of the disease, according to new research. The most prevalent type of arthritis, Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage cushioning a joint degrades over time. This degradation causes pain and stiffness. Ostheoarthritis most often affects the hands, hips, and the knees, and there is no cure for the condition.
Often the effects of ostheoartritis is treated with corticosteroid shots and/or hyaluronic acid injections. Two small unpublished studies presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting, found that knee arthritis advanced more quickly among patients who got corticosteroid injections than those who didn't. By contrast, however, hyaluronic acid injections were associated with slower progression of the disease. Both studies assessed patients from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a years-long observational research project involving nearly greater than 4,500 people with osteoarthritis in the knee joint. X-rays from 50 patients who got corticosteroid shots, 50 who got hyaluronic acid, and another 50 in a control group were compared. Over the course of four years, he scans revealed worse arthritis progression among participants injected with corticosteroids compared to the other two groups.