Most patients suffering from arthritic knees need regular treatment either in the form of medication or in the form of rehab. While both have their own advantages, it is not easy for many patients to choose both due to cost constraints.
Steroid Shots Or Rehab: What To Choose For Arthritic Knees?
In general, taking a steroid shot provides immediate relief at less cost to the patient. Apart from that, it is important to note that most physical therapies are not covered under insurance, and patients have to bear the expenses from their pocket.
A new study has indicated that rehab therapy provides better long-term relief over steroid shots. The cost of both workouts also remains the same in the long run. While rehab looks expensive in the initial stages, it provides long-term relief. Also, it would save on lots of other expenses related to medication.
In this way, rehab becomes cost-effective when taken for a long duration. Doctors feel that when the patient is regular with exercise, it helps build the muscle strength in the knees and contributes a lot to the overall recovery. In this way, mobility is bound to increase significantly with regular exercise. This can also provide better results when combined with rehab sessions.
Doctors also suggest not to depend too much on steroid shots as they do not increase the strength of the knees in any manner. In simple terms, they only provide temporary relief from pain, and it does nothing to improve the situation of the patient. On the other hand, simple exercise can do wonders for your knees in the long run compared to taking steroid shots.
Researchers also point out that a single injection for treating arthritic knees may cost around $100 for most patients. On the other hand, a single session of physical therapy may cost five times more than that for the patient.
Also, the patient has to get an appointment with the doctor and visit the clinic to get the rehab session done. Compared to that, steroid shots can be taken easily at the local clinic without any hassles.
All these reasons compel many patients to choose steroid shots over physical therapy for arthritic pain. As part of the study, the researchers tracked the cost of both therapies over a period of time. In the end, the group that took physical therapy and the other group that used medication spent nearly the same amount of money on the problem.
However, the results were much better in the case of physical therapy as it improved the mobility and strength of the knees. On the other hand, choosing medication like steroid shots only provided temporary relief for the patients.
When the patient depends on steroid shots for a long duration, the situation does not improve further. Such patients may need surgery in the future. However, taking physical therapy can avoid surgery to a large extent in a majority of cases.
The patient needs to work out regularly as per the instructions of the doctor to get the best results out of rehab sessions.
Doctors are, however, not completely against using steroid injections. In many cases, doctors may suggest such options when the pain is too much, and the patient needs immediate relief from pain. However, such injections are not suggested for long-term use due to their lack of benefits to treat the condition.
Experts suggest that losing weight can go a long way in helping patients handle arthritic pain. In this way, the load on the knees is reduced, which leads to better recovery in the long run.