What Is Hyaluronic Acid and How Does It Help My Joints?: Orthopaedic Institute of Henderson: Orthopedic Surgery, Arthroscopy, & Sports Medicine

24 Nov.,2022

 

hydraulic joints

What Is Hyaluronic Acid and How Does It Help My Joints?

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in your body’s joints and the fluid in your eyes. It acts as a lubricant and protective cushion.

Your body produces synovial fluid between joints to help movement and reduce friction. Using hyaluronic acid for joint problems, especially in the knees, can increase the density of the synovial fluid. 

Hyaluronic acid also delays further cartilage degradation and forms a protective layer between joints to relieve pain. 

Knee pain and other joint discomfort become more common as you age, but viscosupplementation injections could help if the pain affects your lifestyle. 

Viscosupplementation injections contain hyaluronic acid to reduce inflammation and discomfort in your knee joints. Our specialists at the Orthopaedic Institute of Henderson can restore joint function and ease chronic pain using this infusion method. 

How does hyaluronic acid work?

Your body uses hyaluronic acid to cushion, hydrate, lubricate, and heal your body. It’s in your connective tissue, skin, bones, joint fluid (synovial fluid), cartilage, and the eye's vitreous body.

Hyaluronic acid is the key molecule responsible for skin moisture and has the ability to retain water. This essential molecule contributes to your joints' stability and friction-free mechanics. 

Hyaluronic acid also supports movement in the connective tissue casing called fascia, which envelopes all muscles, bones, and organs like a net. 

Benefits of hyaluronic acid for the joints

Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in many parts of your body.

Skin and mucous membranes

Around half of the hyaluronic acid found in your body is in your skin and mucous membranes. By binding water, hyaluronic acid contributes to elasticity and stability. One gram of hyaluronic acid can bind up to six liters of water.

Joints

Joints contain synovial fluid with hyaluronic acid, creating a smooth layer. This layer greatly reduces the friction in your joint and helps absorb shocks to prevent joint wear.

Intervertebral discs 

In the core of the intervertebral discs, a gel made of hyaluronic acid serves as a shock absorber and protects against impact and pressure.

Eye

Your eye’s vitreous body is filled with approximately 98% water and 2% hyaluronic acid. This makes your eyeball stable but elastic and transparent.

In the case of inflammation or after injuries, the availability of hyaluronic acid in the joint decreases. Viscosupplementation injections can compensate for the harmful effects of the missing hyaluronic acid. 

The goal is to prevent or at least slow down the joint wear caused by the increased friction of the joint surfaces.

How we use hyaluronic acid

At the Orthopaedic Institute of Henderson, we use viscosupplementation injections that contain hyaluronic acid to treat joint pain. We inject the active substance directly into the spaces between your joints. Painful symptoms improve, usually without side effects. 

You don’t have to live with joint pain. We offer noninvasive treatments and treatment plans to relieve discomfort. Contact us today at our Henderson, Nevada, office to determine if viscosupplementation injections are right for you.