At the time of injection it should hurt no more than a common immunization needle. Around patients may have pain that is worse after the injection. This generally occurs for no more than days and is related to irritation of the tissue injected from the cortisone itself. It is best treated with local ice packs and simple analgesics. You should only have 3 injections: There is no scientific evidence to support this statement, but it seems to have been set in concrete somewhere along the line.
Common sense would suggest if 3 injections given at week intervals have been unhelpful then further injections are less likely to be beneficial, but having one further injection if progress is being made is not inappropriate, or indeed dangerous. Cortisone injections will make me fat and give me weak bones: Taking oral cortisone or prednisone for long periods of time can certainly have side-effects, which do limit the use of this very effective drug. These would include weight gain, osteoporosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.
A small amount of cortisone is absorbed after an injection, but quickly cleared within days. There are no long term side-effects from repeat local injections of cortisone. It works by reducing inflammation, and thus pain secondarily. As such it is treating the pathology, not just the pain. It is important that the injection is followed up with appropriate rehabilitation see below. Side Effects Local cortisone injections may cause some side-effects. Cortisone injections make up an important part of treatment of various shoulder conditions.
They are, however, not the only method of treatment, but part of an overall management program. The cortisone injections do not cure the condition, but provide a window of symptom relief via inflammation reduction. This then allows pain free rehabilitation exercises to be performed, improving joint motion and muscle strength and function, which ultimately prevent the condition from recurring later on. All cortisone injections should ideally be followed up with a physiotherapy program including manual therapy and an exercise prescription.
Failure of cortisone injections may occur for various reasons. The most important factor to consider is appropriate diagnosis. A rotator cuff injection will not help an acromioclavicular joint problem. This is best addressed by careful taking a careful history and examination, as well as supporting the diagnosis with tests. Because of potential side effects, the number of shots you can get in a year generally is limited.
Cortisone shots might be most effective in treating inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. They can also be part of treatment for other conditions, including:. Potential side effects of cortisone shots increase with larger doses and repeated use. Side effects can include:. There's concern that repeated cortisone shots might damage the cartilage within a joint. So doctors typically limit the number of cortisone shots into a joint.
In general, you shouldn't get cortisone injections more often than every six weeks and usually not more than three or four times a year. If you take blood thinners, you might need to stop taking them for several days before your cortisone shot to reduce bleeding or bruising risk. Some dietary supplements also have a blood-thinning effect. Ask your doctor what medications and supplements you should avoid before your cortisone shot.
Tell your doctor if you've had a temperature of Your doctor might ask you to change into a gown. You'll then be positioned so that your doctor can easily insert the needle. The area around the injection site is cleaned. Your doctor might also apply an anesthetic spray to numb the area where the needle will be inserted. In some cases, your doctor might use ultrasound or a type of X-ray called fluoroscopy to watch the needle's progress inside your body — so as to place it in the right spot.
You'll likely feel some pressure when the needle is inserted. Let your doctor know if you have a lot of discomfort. The medication is then released into the injection site. Typically, cortisone shots include a corticosteroid medication to relieve pain and inflammation over time and an anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief.
Some people have redness and a feeling of warmth of the chest and face after a cortisone shot. If you have diabetes, a cortisone shot might temporarily increase your blood sugar levels. Results of cortisone shots typically depend on the reason for the treatment.
Cortisone shots commonly cause a temporary flare in pain and inflammation for up to 48 hours after the injection. After that, your pain and inflammation of the affected joint should decrease, and can last up to several months. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.