Best Medicine for Joint Pain

Read about the best medicine for joint pain. In this article, learn about the top 5 joint injection medications for managing pain and arthritis. Injection therapy is often requested after oral medicine or topical creams do not reduce the pain.


Injecting a  mixture of a corticosteroid (or “steroid”) and a numbing agent is injected directly into the joint after injury or severe arthritis pain.  These treatments are given in the doctor’s office, often with diagnostic ultrasound guidance. 

Major Benefits of Steroid: 

  • Provides rapid relief of pain and inflammation, often reducing pain up to 90% within hours of the injection.
  • Often used to delay surgery or for those who do not wish surgery. 
  • Used for knees, back, hips, hands, wrist, elbows, feet (and plantar fasciitis), and neck. 


What is this? Injecting Hyaluronic acid (HA) replaces your knee’s natural lubricant lost over time. Usually one injection per week for three or five weeks is given. 

Major Benefit of Hyaluronic Acid: 

  • Pain relief and a natural reduction of inflammation
  • Studies show approximately two-thirds of patients get up to six months’ of pain relief.
  • HA is safe, well tolerated, and has less adverse effects than steroid injections.
  • Best for moderate knee arthritis who need increased joint lubrication, pain control and decreased inflammation.
  • Used for knees and hips. 


What is this? PRP is created using your own blood and injected into the injured, arthritic, and painful joint. First, your blood is drawn, then it is prepared by spinning it in a centrifuge and separating out the desired cells. The large number of platelets and natural proteins, which attract the body’s growth factors 

to focus healing on the injured, painful or arthritic region. It can be given as a one-time shot or done once a week for three weeks. It is not covered by insurance, and costs more than steroid injections. 

Major Benefit (s): 

  • Relieves the pain and stiffness from arthritis and after injury and relief may last longer than HA injections. 
  • Works with your body to naturally heal injury and reduce pain. 
  • Combining Hyaluronic Acid injections and PRP speeds up injury healing. Patients often request this to delay or prevent joint surgery
  • Used often to reduce time healing of elbow, knee, or shoulder tendonitis and partial muscle or tendon tears.
  • Used also for feet and hand pain, nerve pain. 

“Stem Cell” Injections (Regenerative Tissue)

What is this? The stem cells used in this procedure can be collected from either bone marrow or fat tissue. The cells are concentrated by separating them from other tissue components, then they are injected into a painful joint. The theory is that the stem cells will initiate tissue regeneration in the joint.

Major Benefit (s):  

  • Studies indicate this treatment reduces pain by helping the body rebuild healthy tissue long term naturally. 
  • Benefits similar to PRP, benefits may last longer than with PRP therapy. 

FLUID ASPIRATION (Removing fluid from the inflamed and injured joint)

What is it? Joint aspiration, or arthrocentesis, is a procedure in which a syringe is used to draw excess fluid from a joint to ease swelling and pressure. A local anesthesia may be injected first to numb the area, and in certain situations an ultrasound may be used at the same time to help guide the needle.

Major Benefit (s): 

  • Eases joint pain and stiffness and improves flexibility
  • Provides information needed to diagnose certain arthritis and infectious conditions, so your doctor can provide appropriate treatment.
  • Combining with steroid medication quickly decreases pain and inflammation. 


The great majority of patients treated are surprised to feel such fast pain relief after the first visit, including after having been treated at other medical offices. Call to schedule a consultation to find out which treatment can help you or your family stop living with pain.

Albert Luongo, MS, PA, MBA, DMSc

Luongo Medical Care (LMC) 90 Morgan Street #203, Stamford, CT 06905, 203-461-4767

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