What to Know About Cortisone Injection

Life is full of unpredictable moments some of which are enjoyable while others are unpleasant. Getting sick or injured is an example of an undesirable moment that we cannot predict.

Still, as human beings we have found ways to cope with such situations and reduce the unpleasantness if not rectify the situation. This article talks about cortisone injection which is a type of treatment used for treating diseases and conditions that affect the joints.

For example, a patient suffering from arthritis as a result of factors such as sports injuries, autoimmune disorders, or old age can benefit from it. You can also see this link, to learn more.

What are the types available?

  • Epidural

This is an injection inside the hardy region of the spine area that surrounds the dura. Dura is the sac that encloses the spinal cord and spinal nerve.

Lumbar epidural treatments are relatively simple techniques and are usually free from complications. The side-effects might include mild insomnia, anxiety, and changes in menstrual cycle.

A serious complication that might occur if the procedure is not done correctly is nerve damage. This can also lead to paralysis hence the procedure should only be done by a qualified professional.

  • Articular

It is also referred to as joint injection. As the name suggests, it entails direct injection of the affected joint. For example, if the problem is at the knee region then that’s where the treatment will be administered. Most of the injections can be followed by a booster 2 to 4 weeks later. The time frame is three doses over a period of three months.

  • Trigger point

The treatment is administered by injection into the tissue around the specific area that is affected. It follows similar principles as those of articular treatment in terms of frequency. It is very effective for pain alleviation.

Is it accompanied by pain?

Some can be painful, especially, considering that the area being injected is already inflamed and sensitive.  The hands and feet are areas that are particularly sensitive thus freeze block is normally used before procedure to reduce sensitivity.

Anesthetic such as carbocaine or lidocaine come in handy with cortisone shots. This numbs the area and makes it easier to administer the injection. Most of the people who experience reactions or allergies towards cortisone actually have the reaction to adrenaline which may be found in some types of treatment.

It can increase the patient’s heartbeat leading to various sensations. Such feelings can be mistakenly perceived as allergic reactions and so it is good to have a health practitioner evaluate the situation before coming to a conclusion.

the situation before coming to a conclusion

Side effects

Just like any other treatment, there are always side effects thus this injection come along with certain risk and side effects, most of which are temporary or mild. Some are serious or long-term.

Patients are recommended to discuss on the side effects of the treatment and risks with their health care providers before partaking it. Some of the potential risks and side effects are as indicated below.

  • It can result in Cortison flare

One of the common side effects that can occur is referred to as Cortison flare. This is basically pain as a result of crystallization of the administered medicine. The crystallization causes serious inflammation hence the pain and swelling. However, with adequate rest and use of ice to quell the flare it fades away after a few days.

  • It can raise blood sugar levels

This is one of the reasons why it is always advised that you inform the doctor of any condition that you might be having before the medication. The health practitioner will then know the best way to take.

  • It can cause injuries

This is as a result of the negative effect that it has on tendons. It makes them weak thus interfering with their normal functioning. A person with weak tendons is at a high risk of getting injured if they exert themselves. It is, therefore, important that you get ample rest.

  • It can change the color of the skin

You might notice a change in color around the place being treated. This is attributed to the potency of the medication among other things. It is a harmless side effect.

  • Some experience allergic reactions

Only a few cases of allergic reactions to this treatment has been reported. The rarity of such occurrences is due to the fact that it is a modified version of naturally occurring steroid known as cortisone. The reactions can be due to various additives.

  • It can cause infections

This is common in patients who have auto-immune illnesses. The type of treatment that they are usually put on tends to restrain their immune system thus making them susceptible to pathogens that cause infections. If you notice an infection you should visit your doctor before it escalates.

Other side effects may include abnormal growth of hair, uneven menstruation, and problems with breastfeeding.

To be able to get the best out of the treatment you should go the extra mile to ensure that you maintain good health overall and not just on the affected part. Here are some of the things that you can do:

  • Take part in physical therapy

Stretching while strengthening muscles and other weak tissues will help relieve pain and other symptoms of arthritis.

  • Manage your weight

If you are overweight then you should take the relevant steps to lose some of it. This will reduce the load that the joints are subjected to and also make the medication more effective.

  • Make positive lifestyle changes

At times we are forced to adopt new ways of living. This can be a simple thing like changing footwear. It can reduce the number of micro-traumas a joint experiences daily. Click here to learn more.


Cortisone when injected into a joint can be of great benefits in terms of reducing joint pain while restoring functions to body parts that were immobilized by inflammation. The injection works quickly to provide relief to the affected part since it is administered directly. Side effects can vary from one patient to another depending on the type of medication and their patient’s condition.