What Are Cortisone Shots For?
Cortisone injections are commonly administered to relieve pain and discomfort in joints. This could be due to recent injuries, overuse, sprains, or joint inflammation or joint disease like arthritis or bursitis. Cortisone shots are often used for pain in the knee, shoulder, elbow, and hands. To know if you’re a good candidate for cortisone shots, you’ll need to contact a local orthopedic specialist in your area for an examination.
What Do Cortisone Shots Do?
Cortisone is a steroid that is injected directly to the site of pain on your body. It reduces inflammation in the area it’s administered to. Cortisone is not a narcotic or a pain reliever like codeine or a hyrdocodone. The pain in your joints will be reduced due to it treating the inflammation in the area. Cortisone isn’t injected into your blood stream like most shots are. It’s injected directly into your joint where you’re feeling pain. Cortisone won’t travel around your body, but remain concentrated in the spot it was administered to near the site of injection.
How Many Cortisone Shots Should I Get Each Year?
There is not catch-all number that will be the same for everyone. Everyone is different, and you’ll need to consult with a local orthopedic specialist to get a proper diagnosis and find out how many cortisone shots you can get to treat your injury. However, there are common amounts for typical injuries.
If you have tendonitis or bursitis in your shoulder, you should only get one or two injections a year. While it might be tempting to request more if you’re in pain, additional shots could actually damage your tendons. Cortisone shots are generally administered to correct a problem – if they aren’t working after a year or so, you might have a more serious injury like a tear.
Pain issues in the knee, like arthritis, commonly get a few more shots each year. As many as three to four injections might be administered to your knee. However, these can sometimes cause additional problems in the area, and even deterioration. This is why getting frequent cortisone shots in your knee isn’t the best strategy for patients that are younger. In cases like this, cortisone shots won’t resolve the arthritis, they’re just reducing the inflammation and providing some pain relief in the area.
Are Cortisone Shots Painful?
Nobody likes getting a shot, but cortisone shots shouldn’t hurt anymore than a more common one, like a flu shot, does. However, it’s important that you get a cortisone shot administered by a specialist or orthopedic surgeon. They’ll have a lot more experience giving these types of shots, and will therefore know exactly where to give the shot. This can go a long way in preventing any initial discomfort or pain.
How Can I Find Out If I’m Eligible For Cortisone Injections?
If you’re experiencing joint pain on a daily basis and want to explore treatment options, you should definitely contact a local joint pain specialist or orthopedic surgeon in your area. Your first step is to hop on your computer or laptop, pull up a search engine like Google, and search for a surgeon in your area. For instance, if you were located in Richmond, VA, you could search for “knee specialist in Richmond VA” to find local orthopedic specialists near you. You don’t have to live with joint pain, and your problem might be treatable without surgery! If you’re in pain, reach out to a local specialist to review your options as soon as you can.