Do Cortisone Injections Work?

cortisone injection

Cortisone injections, also known as corticosteroid injections, are commonly used to provide temporary relief from inflammation and pain in arthritic joints. While they can be effective for short-term pain relief, there is evidence to suggest that cortisone shots for knee, hip, or any joint may have negative effects on joint health and could potentially accelerate arthritis in the long term. Here are some side effects of cortisone injections and reasons why cortisone injections may have detrimental effects on joints:

  1. Cartilage Degradation: Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory medications that work by suppressing the immune response and reducing inflammation. However, inflammation is a crucial part of the body’s healing process, and it plays a role in the repair and maintenance of tissues, including joint cartilage. Excessive or repeated cortisone injections can interfere with the normal inflammatory response in the joint, leading to decreased cartilage repair and an increased risk of cartilage degeneration.
  2. Ligament and Tendon Weakening: Corticosteroids can weaken the connective tissues, such as ligaments and tendons, in and around the joint. This weakening effect may lead to joint instability and an increased risk of injuries, which can further contribute to joint damage and arthritis development.
  3. Bone Loss: Long-term use of corticosteroids has been associated with bone loss (osteoporosis) and an increased risk of fractures. Weakening of the bones around the joint can exacerbate joint damage and contribute to arthritis progression.
  4. Masking Symptoms: Cortisone injections provide temporary pain relief by reducing inflammation, but they do not address the underlying cause of arthritis. As a result, individuals may continue to engage in activities that aggravate the joint, leading to further damage and progression of arthritis.
  5. Risk of Infection: Cortisone injections carry a small risk of infection at the injection site. Infections in the joint can cause additional inflammation and damage to joint structures.
  6. Synovial Fluid Changes: Repeated cortisone injections can alter the composition of synovial fluid, the lubricating fluid in the joint. Changes in synovial fluid may contribute to increased friction and wear on joint surfaces.

It’s important to emphasize that while cortisone injections can be beneficial for short-term pain relief in certain situations, they should be avoided as a first-line treatment whenever possible. If physical therapy including biomechanical assessment, hasn’t worked, then our Softwave Therapy is the next step to alleviating joint pain without negative side effects. Softwave has shown to be effective for decreasing chronic or acute pain and may even help the joint with the regeneration of tissue or slow the advancement of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Other non-invasive treatments, such as physical therapy and lifestyle modifications, should also be considered to manage arthritis and promote joint health.

If you are experiencing joint pain or have concerns about arthritis, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a rheumatologist or orthopedic specialist, who can provide appropriate evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options tailored to your specific needs and then give us a call at 414 299 8121 and utilize our Pain Free Formula that includes Softwave, manual therapy and a personalized program to help you find relief from joint and muscle pain.

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