What Are Steroids?
Corticosteroids are not "pain medications," but they can provide powerful relief from inflammation. As they reduce the body's inflammatory response, they generally lead to welcome pain relief. Cortisone is very commonly prescribed - a blend of corticosteroid and local anesthetic medications.
How is the Treatment Performed?
Generally, a pain specialist will inject these medications into large or small joints of the body such as a wrist, elbow, or ankle, although the back is another common site. Some administrations target the epidural space (the area surrounding the spinal cord). Injections are often performed in the specialist's office and are completed quickly.
- You may be asked to eat only a light meal before the procedure begins.
- It is advisable to bring a current list of your medications.
Your specialist may ask you some questions like these in advance of the procedure:
Do You Take Blood Thinners?
If so, you may be asked to stop these medications for a few days before your injection to help avoid risk of any bleeding or bruising. Be aware that certain dietary supplements can produce a blood-thinning effect – ask your specialist which medicines and supplements you should avoid before the procedure.
Have You Had a Fever Recently?
If you suspect you have had a fever in the past two weeks, be sure to indicate this to your specialist.
During the Procedure
- You may be asked to wear a gown. You will be positioned so that your specialist can easily insert the needle. The injection site will be well-cleaned, and an anesthetic might be applied to help numb the injection site.
- It is possible an ultrasound or X-ray procedure called "fluoroscopy" may be performed to help monitor precise needle placement.
- You may experience some pressure when the needle is inserted. Tell your specialist if you feel any discomfort.
After the Procedure
- In some cases, redness and a warm feeling in the face and chest may occur after the injection.
- If you are a diabetic, you may experience a temporary rise in blood sugar levels.
- Ironically, cortisone shots may bring about a short-lived flare of inflammation and pain lasting up to 48 hours after the injection. You should feel relief afterward.
How Soon Will I Feel Pain Relief?
The results of your injection may depend on the treatment reason. Injections of cortisone typically result in relief within a few days, with a decrease in both inflammation and pain.
How Long Will Results Last?
Results may vary, but relief may be experienced for several weeks up to several months.
What Are Some Procedures Available at The Pain Center?
Click any link below for procedure details:
Please use our phone and contact form to reach out to The Pain Clinic, discover which treatment is recommended for you, and learn how we can help.
Call The Pain Center to See a Pain Specialist
Our pain specialists undergo extensive training to understand the root cause of acute and chronic pain and treat it accordingly. We will work with you to suggest the best treatment options for your condition. Dr. Sandra Thompson has 28+ years of experience and is an expert in managing chronic pain for back, neck and body.
If you’re looking for expert care to help reduce and relieve pain as well as improve your overall quality of life, our pain specialists can diagnose underlying conditions and prescribe treatments that will help you to control your pain and regain a reasonable quality of life. Contact us today to make an appointment for a consultation with our pain specialists at The Pain Center.