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By Isabelle Banin
It’s difficult to enjoy the hobbies you love, or even just get through the day, when you are in pain. Unfortunately, over-the-counter medications are not always enough.
If your pain continues to make daily functioning a struggle, you may need to consider stronger, longer-lasting options. One of the more popular of these options are corticosteroid injections, also known as cortisone shots.
Cortisone shots decrease inflammation in the target area, often bringing some pain relief that can last up to months. Generally, your doctor will only recommend a cortisone shot for appropriate conditions if your pain is debilitating or not improving with more conservative pain management methods (i.e., physical therapy, resting the injured area, over the counter pain medication).
Asheesh Bedi, M.D., Director of the Comprehensive Sports Medicine and Joint Preservation Program at NorthShore Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, emphasizes that cortisone shots should not be used indiscriminately to mask pain.
“Cortisone shots are best used when the pain relief they provide aids the patient in their rehabilitation and recovery,” Dr. Bedi says.
After getting an injection, some people may feel increased pain and mild joint swelling for a few days. This affect is generally a result of the numbing agent in the shot wearing off.
Here, Dr. Bedi gives his insight into cortisone injections:
The NorthShore Orthopaedic & Spine Institute provides personalized treatment plans for comprehensive musculoskeletal care. At the Institute, all injections are guided with ultrasound, which increases precision and reduces the chances of side effects. The Institute also includes specialized departments, such as Sports Medicine and the Integrated Pain Center.