Corticosteroid Injection

Monday, November 18, 2019

Remember our article about the problems with short-term pain relief of corticosteroid injections for tendon injuries? Here we provide more information about them.

Engadine Physio Cortisone injection knee

What are corticosteroids?

They are a man-made version of hormones that are normally produced by the adrenal glands (two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys).

They are an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat a wide variety of conditions. If you are also seeing a physiotherapist, you will typically be getting an injection because you have a painful and inflamed joint, muscle or tendon.

Side effects of cortisone injection?

Yes, they include:

  • Infection
  • Thinning of nearby bone
  • Joint irritation
  • Nerve damage

Can I receive a cortisone shot?

Most people can have steroid injections, but you must speak to your doctor if you:

  • Have had a steroid injection in the last few weeks
  • Have had three injections in the last year
  • Have had an allergic reaction to steroids in the past
  • Have an infection
  • You are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby
  • Have any other conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, or problems with your heart, liver or kidneys
  • Are taking other medicines, such as ‘blood thinners'

Also, please read the latest evidence summarised in a brief article written by Sutherland Physio owner here.

How long will the effects of the cortisone injection last?

Typically, up until two months. But it is variable how long it lasts for people. Factors such as the extent of inflammation and overall patient health can determine how long a steroid shot will last. It is said that you should not have more than one injection every 3 months. Too many injections increase the risk of side effects, such as avascular necrosis, which is the lack of blood flow to a part of the bone that causes it to collapse.

Examples of conditions where corticosteroids may be used:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Acute spinal pain, particularly when it refers down an arm or leg

Do I still see Engadine Physio or Sutherland Physio whilst I await my injection, or after I've had the shot?

Absolutely! Why? Although corticosteroid injections are great at settling inflammation, it does not address the cause of the inflammation. The corticosteroid injection may provide a means by which you can begin or continue a successful rehabilitation program! An effective rehabilitation plan should be discussed with your physiotherapist Physios. Contact us today!

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