Breaking the Pain Cycle
Cortisone injections are not for every body but they are useful for patients whose pain doesn’t respond to other therapies. Before we recommend cortisone injections, we may apply other conservative treatments such as physical therapy, NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications), ice packs, heat, electrical stimulation and support garments, acupuncture, traction, biofeedback, manipulation (chiropractic), or strengthening exercises— all procedures, techniques and modalities that have been shown to alleviate some cases of back pain.
If there is no improvement after six weeks, and if the patient is becoming discouraged, we may consider cortisone injections.
One concern about back and neck injuries is that they can inhibit some patients from engaging in physical activities that might be beneficial or even essential for rehabilitation.
While it’s important to rest an injured muscle or joint, prolonged inactivity increases the chances of re-injury. In addition, muscles that are not conditioned can become irritated. and the resulting discomfort may disrupt sleep and provoke spasm, fatigue and pain. For these reasons, patients with spinal injuries sometimes become frustrated and discouraged.
For our patients who exhibit a particular pattern of pain, cortisone injections are an option. These injections are used to treat inflamed joints, tendons or bursae. In the case of spinal injuries, cortisone may be injected into a facet joint, or directly into the spinal canal where the steroid’s anti-inflammatory effect may relieve pressure on nerves and nerve roots. Complications are rare. The injection is virtually painless and takes effect fairly quickly.
Cortisone Injections for Certain Cases
While cortisone injections are widely used, and considered safe and effective in the vast majority of cases, there are patients for whom cortisone injections are contraindicated. In patients with diabetes, cortisone may raise blood glucose levels. Because cortisone mimics the body’s immune hormones, it can interfere with the body’s own ability to fight infection, or it may mask an infection by suppressing signs and symptoms of inflammation. Cortisone injections are not advised for some patients with bleeding disorders.
Corticosteroids replicate the action of our natural immune system, and they are powerful tools. However, as with any super-effective modality, they must be applied judiciously and in the right context.
If pain becomes an impediment to a healthy lifestyle or if you’ve tried conservative therapies and haven’t found relief, discuss your options with a member of our clinical staff. Ask them if Cortisone injections might be a viable option for your particular situation.
Common Questions about Cortisone Shots for Back or Neck Pain
What are cortisone injections?
Cortisone injections reduce inflammation and swelling. This can relieve pressure on nerves and nerve roots. These injections are used to treat inflamed joints, tendons, and spinal injuries.
If you’ve had back pain for more than six weeks and your pain is terrible, your doctor might recommend cortisone shots.
To design a treatment plan, our orthopedic specialists in Florida will diagnose the specific condition.
How do cortisone shots work?
As an anti-inflammatory drug, cortisone suppresses the immune system and decreases inflammation in inflamed tissues. It also works by preventing collagen production.
Cortisone is injected directly into the inflamed site. Cortisone injections take effect quickly and are virtually painless. This treatment suppresses inflammation and indirectly reduces pain by shutting down collagen-producing cells in the joint or tendon.
After injection, cortisone works to reduce inflammation in and around the joint. As a result, you should feel less pain, swelling, stiffness, and warmth and be able to function a little easier.
I have back pain. Can I take cortisone shots?
Cortisone injections are commonly used and are generally considered safe and effective; however, they are not for everyone.
There are patients for whom cortisone injections are contraindicated. Patients with diabetes and bleeding disorders may not benefit from getting cortisone shots.
Patients whose pain does not respond to other treatments may benefit from cortisone injections. Several conservative techniques, procedures, and modalities may be attempted before we prescribe cortisone injections for your back and neck pain.
Visit our orthopedic specialists in Florida if your back and neck pain persists.
How often can I get cortisone injections?
Based on your medical condition, we determine your cortisone shot treatment plan at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida.
Repeat injections may be used if significant benefits are observed after the first injection. Your doctor will determine a treatment plan for cortisone shots that will benefit you the most.
Are there side effects to getting cortisone shots?
In general, cortisone injections are safe when treating neck and back pain. They rarely result in side effects. Cortisone shots can cause redness and warmth in the chest and face for some people.
However, some patients may experience side effects, such as injury to the joint or tendon, loss of the fat layer below the skin, loss of skin color, calcification around the joint, and joint infection. An injection may also cause a temporary “flare-up.”