Reducing Inflammation for Optimal Living

Corticosteroid injections, also known as cortisone shots, deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medications directly to specific areas of the body, offering targeted relief and reducing inflammation at the source. They can be used to treat conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, or allergies, and provide help in managing autoimmune disorders.

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Corticosteroid Injections

A corticosteroid injection - also known as a cortisone shot - is an injection of medicine that relieves pain and reduces inflammation.

Corticosteroids are manufactured medication that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone your adrenal glands produce naturally. Providers usually use cortisone shots to treat inflammation in your joints, including your shoulders, spine, hands, hips, knees, and feet.

Your provider might also use cortisone shots to treat inflammation in your tendons or bursae, which are the fluid-filled sacs that cushion spaces around and between your joints, tendons and bones.

Treatment for Pain and Inflammation

Corticosteroid injections deliver a potent anti-inflammatory medication directly into specific areas of the body. They are used to treat a variety of conditions.

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Inflammatory Joint Conditions

Corticosteroid injections can be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in joints affected by inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Injections may also be used for symptomatic relief in cases of osteoarthritis, particularly when a specific joint is inflamed.

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Occupational Tendinitis and Bursitis

Inflammation of tendons, such as tennis elbow or Achilles tendinitis, can be treated with corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and swelling. Additionally, inflamed bursae (fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between tissues) can benefit from corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation.

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Allergic Reactions

Corticosteroid injections may be used to quickly address severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, by reducing inflammation and preventing further allergic responses.

Benefits of Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections offer several benefits for the treatment of various medical conditions, particularly those involving inflammation.

Rapid Inflammation Reduction

Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. When injected directly into a specific area, they can quickly and effectively reduce inflammation, providing prompt relief from pain and swelling.

Localized Treatment

Corticosteroid injections can be targeted to a specific site, delivering the medication directly to the affected area. This allows for a more focused and potent treatment compared to oral or systemic forms of corticosteroids.

Pain Relief

By reducing inflammation, corticosteroid injections can help alleviate pain associated with various conditions, such as arthritis, tendinitis, or bursitis.
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How Corticosteroid Injections Work

Reasons to Get Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections may be recommended for a variety of medical conditions characterized by inflammation, pain, or immune system dysfunction.

Arthritis

Corticosteroid injections can be used to manage inflammation and pain associated with different types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Tendinitis and Bursitis

Inflammation of tendons (tendinitis) or bursae (bursitis) in various parts of the body, such as the shoulder, elbow, or hip, may be treated with corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and swelling.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

In cases of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, corticosteroid injections may be used to manage inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

FAQ

Which conditions are treated with corticosteroid injections?

Your healthcare provider might treat any condition that causes pain and inflammation with a corticosteroid injection, including:

  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Arthritis.
  • Tendinitis.
  • Tendinopathy.
  • Bursitis.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Tennis elbow.
  • Trigger finger and trigger thumb.
Are there any side effects to corticosteroid injections?

The most common side effects of corticosteroid injections include:

  • Pain at the injection site.
  • Temporary swelling and/or bruising.
  • Temporarily increased blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should check their blood sugar level more often for around five days after a cortisone shot.
  • Discoloration or redness on your skin at the injection site.
  • Skin lightening or looking paler near the injection site.
When will I start to feel relief after a corticosteroid injection?
The time it takes for a corticosteroid injection to work varies from person to person. Your symptoms like pain and inflammation might not get better immediately. It can take up to a week for a corticosteroid injection to take effect. If it has been more than 10 days and you are not improving, it is recommended to talk to your healthcare provider.
How often are you able to get a corticosteroid injection?

You may only need one injection to relieve pain and inflammation, especially if you are recovering from a temporary injury. If you have a chronic condition, you might need more cortisone shots in the future.

Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is safe to receive another dose of cortisone. You will probably need to wait at least three months between rounds of cortisone shots. Most people should not have more than three cortisone shots in a year.

How long does a corticosteroid injection last?

It typically lasts somewhere between a few weeks and a few months, although everyone’s body responds differently to a corticosteroid injection. If you are experiencing inflammation after an injury, the cortisone shot should be effective long enough for your body to heal fully.

If you experience chronic inflammation, you might notice your symptoms returning gradually over time. Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice new or worsening inflammation.