If you are experiencing pain from an injury or chronic health condition, you may have considered cortisone injections. However, you may be unsure whether it is the right treatment for you.
Fortunately, the following information is here to help. We explore why you might need cortisone injections, their benefits, and what happens during treatment.
Reasons For Cortisone Injections: Why Do People Get Them?
Cortisone is widely considered a “miracle drug” for its powerful effects and usefulness in various conditions. The treatment administers corticosteroids into the target area, delivering quick relief from discomfort.
Here are some of the cases for cortisone injections:
Cortisone injections are helpful for patients living with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. That’s because the drug reduces the activity of the immune system in the affected tissues, helping to reduce the inflammatory processes that cause pain.
Typically, patients receive cortisone injections for rheumatoid arthritis. However, this treatment is suitable for osteoarthritis patients in some circumstances.
Once administered, injections deliver medicine in a time-dependent manner, helping to ease symptoms over time with benefits typically lasting several months to a year.
Cortisone is also an effective treatment for tendonitis—an inflammatory condition of the tendons. Again, the drug works by helping to reduce inflammation and pain in the target regions.
Tendons are the thick, fibrous cords that attach muscle to the bone. Tendonitis typically occurs due to strain, injury, overuse, or excessive exercise. It can also result from systemic conditions like infection, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. As such, recovery can take several months, and many patients experience significant discomfort while they wait.
Cortisone helps to improve recovery by reducing the pain experienced. However, it does not address the underlying condition directly.
Cortisone injections are also highly effective at treating foot pain. Again, the treatment works by blocking immune system chemicals that cause inflammation, helping reduce discomfort.
Various conditions can cause foot pain, including:
- Plantar fasciitis
Our doctors evaluate your case to determine whether you need cortisone injections to manage your symptoms. We may also recommend additional strategies including rest, ice, other anti-inflammatory drugs, or physiotherapy.
The Benefits of Cortisone Injections
Cortisone injections offer a host of benefits to patients wanting to reduce muscle and joint pain.
Target the Affected Area
The primary benefit of cortisone injections is their ability to target the affected area immediately. While oral steroids affect the entire body, injected cortisone absorbs into the affected site quickly, potentially offering faster and more effective relief. Many patients find the treatment improves their range of motion, making it easier to move the affected body part. It may also relieve symptoms of stiffness common in arthritis patients.
Cortisone injections also have long-lasting effects, depending on the dose and target area. Many patients report relief lasting for several weeks or months.
Again, though, it is worth pointing out that the treatment will not cure the underlying condition. Instead, it blunts the body’s inflammatory response, providing temporary relief while other medications or lifestyle factors take effect.
Suitable for a Range of Conditions
Lastly, cortisone injections are suitable for a wide variety of acute and chronic pain conditions, making them an excellent treatment option for many patients. Their do-it-all nature makes them ideal for foot pain, arthritis, tendonitis, and many other cases.
What Happens During Cortisone Injection Treatment?
The procedure for getting a cortisone injection is similar to regular shots. The doctor or nurse will first clean the skin around the area with an antiseptic solution. They may also apply a topical numbing cream to improve comfort during the procedure.
Then, the healthcare practitioner will inject a small amount of cortisone (sometimes mixed with other drugs) into the affected area using a thin needle. During the procedure, you may feel a brief stinging or burning sensation that will subside quickly.
After that, they will apply gauze or a bandage to the affected area and may recommend you place an icepack on the affected area to reduce swelling. They will then monitor you for signs of allergic reactions for several minutes. (Doctors will consult your medical history and ask whether you are allergic to corticosteroids before administering the injection).
Once treatment is complete, they will advise you on how to care for the affected area. Patients receiving cortisone injections due to an injury should rest, while those with chronic health conditions may need additional prescriptions.
After your cortisone shot, we will advise you on any side effects you might experience, including pain at the joint site, bruising, a temporary increase in swelling, and higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. We will also talk to you about how cortisone injections can cause the skin to change color or look slightly paler at the injection site.
Recovery from treatment is usually rapid, and you can go home the same day. If you experience any side effects, speak to a member of our team immediately. In hours and days after your injection, look out for dizziness and headaches, skin issues, fatigue, trouble sleeping, mood swings, other psychological disturbances, and weight changes. Side effects vary considerably from person to person and may only appear after long-term use.
If you want to know more about the possible side effects of cortisone injections, please ask one of our doctors. Please note that cortisone injections reduce your immune response, so they can reduce your body’s ability to fight infection.
Teton Foot & Ankle Can Help!
If you have foot or ankle pain, arthritis, or tendonitis, Teton Foot & Ankle is here to help. Our cortisone injections can help make your condition more manageable and assist in your recovery. Most patients experience a positive effect almost immediately after receiving treatment.
Coming to our practice is always a pleasant experience. Our team can advise you on whether this treatment is best for your condition or whether a different approach would suit you better. Following discharge, you’ll receive regular follow-ups to ensure proper management of your condition.
To learn more about our cortisone injection treatments, contact us at (209) 528-6625, or make an appointment online.