“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 cortisone shot can quickly reduce and even eliminate pain. But, will a cortisone shot help foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis or wrist and arm pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome?
Let’s start with some important facts about cortisone. One, the anti-inflammatory 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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As it turns out, nearly any condition associated with sore, swollen joints, bones, muscles, tendons, and even nerves, can be treated with cortisone, including plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel. For pain caused by plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, a cortisone injection is a common and standard treatment that can provide relief if other treatments have been tried with little success, including: daily stretching, braces, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin).
But, here’s the caveat. That shot 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 cortisone shots you can have. After a few injections, you may need to look at alternative treatments. Cortisone is a steroid and too much can cause damage.
In short, yes, a cortisone shot can help relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. 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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