An Introduction to Cortisone Shots- What You Need to Know before Taking Them

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Most who experience injuries and diseases in the shoulder, elbow, and knee regions are often treated with cortisone injections. Cortisone injections are a very strong and potent anti-inflammatory medicine that is placed in an injection. The reason for this is that the medicine is injected directly into the painful region of the shoulder, elbow, or knee. When the painful area is injected with this anti-inflammatory, a person experiences immediate relief. There are many myths about cortisone shots. These myths speak about how many times a person can have cortisone shots in their lifetime and how many shots a specific joint can have cortisone shots. While many of them may be true or false, the reality of the matter is that cortisone shots do work as a treatment.

Cortisone are injection shots that are mixed with an anesthetic such as novocaine and are injected into spaces and not directly into tissue. An example of these spaces is a person’s shoulder where the injection takes place between the shoulder’s rotator cuff and the bone. Another example is in the knee where the shot is injected into the side or the front of the knee. Cortisone shots may be done 2 to 3 times in a specific body part and this would be no cause for concern in terms of risking any tissue damage.

The problem occurs when after 1 or 2 injections, there is no significant improvement in the damaged body part. This would be the time when a doctor would have to evaluate the next step of treatment that is usually an MRI scan. Another site for cortisone injections are the biceps that can only take up to 2 injections. If injections exceed 2 times, there can develop some local infections such as depigmentation of the skin which leads to skin whitening as well as loss of fatty tissues underneath the skin. Another type of infection may occur in the biceps, where the tissues can weaken and become susceptible to ruptures. For this reason, cortisone injections are never put in a person’s Achilles tendon or the tendons located in the front of the knee. Over-all cortisone injections help doctors tremendously as it aids them in diagnosing many problems as well as treating them.

How cortisone is injected

The process of injecting cortisone to patients suffering from bone problems is a very simple process.

1. Cortisone is put into a small syringe and needle. This is usually mixed with an anesthetic agent such as novocaine or lidocaine.

2. The doctor will then spray the area to be injected with topical anesthetic or cold spray.

3. The doctor injects the cortisone shot into the painful region.

4. After the injection the patient is prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicine that will control swelling.

Cortisone allergy

Not everyone can take cortisone shots. Those who are allergic are reported to experience what is commonly known as cortisone flares, which person experiences increased sensations as well as a general flushing feeling which tends to weaken a person.

Cortisone shots pros and cons

Cortisone shots are a potent treatment for many muscular and skeletal problems that people experience. These shots, when injected bring major anti-inflammatory effects to a person’s problem area. This treatment is so effective that it can last many weeks in a person’s system. Since this treatment is so effective, there are also a few disadvantages in taking cortisone. Let us dwell into the pros and cons.

Pros

Instant

Cortisone shots are focal in the sense that it is injected directly into the painful area of the body. You do not have to take it in pill form that tends to take long before the medicine works. In injecting cortisone, the effects are immediate and fast-acting. This is great for people who are in a lot of pain and need instant relief.

Long lasting

Cortisone shots are a long lasting treatment to muscular and skeletal pain. The effects of these shots are reported to last weeks and even months depending on the person’s system.

Affordable

Compared to a surgery which costs thousands of dollars, cortisone injections are extremely cheaper. The administration of the injection is also very cheap.

Delays surgery

It is a fact that when a person is injected with cortisone, surgery is delayed for a long time. This is definitely an advantage because many times, people do not have the sufficient funds to pay for a surgery. This is when they must save money. In the time before they can afford surgery, cortisone injections are the temporary substitute to alleviate pain.

Allows a person to resume being active

For people with muscle problems, being active is almost impossible without feeling the sharpness of pain. With cortisone shots, a person can resume being active and going back to work as well as exercising without having to feel an ounce of pain.

Cons

The cons of cortisone shots are very few and far between, however, there are still a few risks that need to be considered.

Loss of muscle use

Too many treatments of cortisone can lead to muscular deficiencies that a person will not be able to use their muscles properly anymore.

Diabetics are a risk to take cortisone

Studies have suggested that diabetics who take cortisone show negative side effects. They experience an increase in their blood sugar levels for about 48 hours. Those who must take cortisone must lessen the amount of insulin that they normally use.

Adrenal gland suppression

Adrenal gland suppression is when the body no longer produces natural cortisone. This occurs when the body detects cortisone and as a result, stops producing it.

All in all cortisone is a very helpful treatment that should be used. Judging from the benefits alone, cortisone improves your way of life in so many aspects aside
from pain alleviation and anti-inflammation. It allows you to prolong the inevitable and it also gives you a long lasting solution that is repeated after a long period of time. You just have to make sure that you are not allergic.

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