Joint fluid therapy sometimes referred to as viscosupplementation or hyaluronan injections is a thick, elastic substance made from hyaluronan. Hyaluronan, also known as hyaluronic acid or hyaluronate (HYL) is found in normal joint fluid.
When injected directly into the knee joint, HYL helps restore the cushioning and lubricating properties of normal joint fluid. Three to five injections are used for knee osteoarthritis in patients who have not respond to more conservative therapy.
A recent study from the New Jersey Medical School suggests that combining HYL with a home exercise program is actually better than just HYL alone. Exercise by itself seems to benefit knee OA. Biochemical changes in the synovial fluid have been reported with exercise alone and with HYL alone.
Combining the two together may help increase the amount of hyaluronan that moves into the cartilage. Exercise seems to have the added benefit of helping expand and cleanse the cartilage to keep it in good condition. All indications are that exercise is very helpful for osteoarthritis and should be continued on a daily basis.