“Please, just give me a shot” is a common plea of patients to their healthcare provider. For people suffering with arthritis, tendinitis, or another form of joint inflammation, a steroid injection can quickly reduce and even eliminate pain. But, will a cortisone shot really help pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Trigger Finger?
Understanding Cortisone Injections
Let’s start with some important facts about cortisone. One, the anti-inflammatory steroid drug cortisone is an effective means of controlling swelling and thus reducing muscle, bone and joint pain when inflammation is the cause of the pain. Two, this corticosteroid comes in two forms—injection or pill—but, the injectable form is preferred because your doctor can give less medication and place it exactly where it is needed. With a pill, it has to go through your whole body, so a bigger dose is required and isn’t as fast acting.
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Will a Cortisone Shot Help?
For pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Trigger Finger, a cortisone injection is a common course of treatment if other “first line” treatments have been tried with little success. Other conservative treatments that may be recommended before recommending a steroid shot include:
- Resting and avoiding the movement that led to injury or overuse
- Splints or braces to help alleviate pain and discomfort
- Daily exercises that gently stretch and improve range of motion
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin) to help relieve pain and inflammation to improve movement
But, here’s the caveat. That cortisone injection may bring you relief but that relief may be temporary and the cortisone may not cure the condition. A second or third shot may be required. Your healthcare provider will determine how many injections you can safely have. After a few injections, you may need to look at alternative treatments or surgery may be recommended. Cortisone is a steroid and too much can cause damage.
As it turns out, nearly any condition associated with sore, swollen joints, bones, muscles, tendons, and even nerves, can be treated with a cortisone shot. In short, yes, a cortisone shot can help relieve the pain and in some cases, an injection can even allow your body to heal, if caught early before the damage is done. In other cases, it may provide relief for a period of time, but it may not cure the underlying problem. In those cases, when the pain is not fully relieved or the condition returns after injections, your healthcare professional can help you make the best decision about alternate treatments for long term relief.Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!
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Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.