There are a number of medical treatments that can be used for osteoarthritis, one of which is cortisone shots.
Cortisone shots, sometimes called corticosteroid injections, can help with osteoarthritis pain relief by targeting inflammation in the joint affected by osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis.
The effects of cortisone shots are only temporary, and if you take them too often, you may be at risk of side effects.
Osteoarthritis Pain Relief: What Are Cortisone Shots?
Cortisone shots are injections of synthetic corticosteroids, hormones that your body naturally produces in your adrenal gland which are essential for a number of your body processes.
When you experience stress, corticosteroids are released, minimizing inflammation. The corticosteroids in cortisone injections are manmade, but are very similar to the corticosteroids produced in your own body.
Cortisone shots help relieve inflammation. In addition to osteoarthritis pain relief, cortisone injections are commonly used to treat tendinitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
When your doctor injects the medication into your inflamed joint or joints, the cortisone minimizes inflammation in and around the joint, providing significant osteoarthritis pain relief. It may take a few days to feel the effects of your cortisone injection; the pain relief will eventually wear off, usually after several weeks.
Osteoarthritis Pain Relief: Recommended Injection Schedule
Because of these risks, it is recommended that people not receive cortisone shots more than two to four times per year. And it is best that you schedule your injections at least three months apart.
In addition, talk with your doctor about the risks of getting cortisone shots if you:
- Have septic arthritis (an infection in a joint)
- Have a skin infection where you received a previous injection
- Have had an allergic reaction to a previous cortisone shot
- Use blood thinners
- Are injured — a recent head trauma or broken bone, for instance
- Are a competitive athlete
Obviously, cortisone injections can do a lot of good, but, if overdone, can create some serious problems. It’s wise to understand the pros and cons of these shots before receiving your first one.
For more information on cortisone shots contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA.