A corticosteroid injection is utilized to relieve pain which is administered into the bursae, joints, soft tissues and tendon sheaths. The bursae are filled with synovial fluid and serves as a cushion within the joints.
This medication has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Once a corticosteroid injection is administered into the joints or soft tissue, it alleviates the redness, inflammation, warmth and tenderness.
As long as it is administered properly, a corticosteroid injection is relatively safe. The potential complications might include atrophy of the soft tissue, allergic reactions, tendon rupture, infection and hypopigmentation.
It is important to note that there are conditions in which a corticosteroid injection is the ideal treatment option.
Frozen shoulder is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the shoulder joint and results to stiffness, pain and reduced range of motion. Aside from a corticosteroid injection, NSAIDs are also used as part of the treatment as well as shoulder manipulation under anesthesia and surgery as the last option.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, it causes numbness, pain and tingling sensation in the fingers. This occurs when the median nerve is compressed. A corticosteroid injection can provide months of relief and delays the concluding need for surgery.
Corticosteroid injection for osteoarthritis
The medication has been utilized to manage osteoarthritis in the wrist, knee, hip and the hand. On the other hand, there is limited proof to support the benefit of the treatment among those who have osteoarthritis. If the individual decides to receive the injection in the joints, it is best to discuss with a specialist first.
Tennis elbow is a common overuse injury affecting the tendons of the wrist extensor muscles which originate from the lateral epicondyle in the elbow. The pain of the condition can be alleviated on a short-term basis with a corticosteroid injection. Just remember that there is high recurrence rate even after an injection has been given.
Golfer’s elbow is characterized as an elbow injury that triggers pain over the medial epicondyle. An injection of corticosteroid can provide momentary relief.
Am I suitable for a corticosteroid injection?
It is vital to bear in mind that a corticosteroid injection is ideally used as an additional or adjuvant therapy. These shots do not take the place of the main or curative treatment options.
Even though some can benefit from more than a single injection for the same condition, those who fail to respond to an injection initially should not be given another one. If an individual received a shot for soft tissue or joint conditions and did not work, it is not ideal to get another shot.
Infections of the joints tend to weaken it along with the soft tissues. With this in mind, avoid the injections too often and make sure that the shots do not space out by less than a few months.