Cortisone Shots: Only a short-term gain for long term pain!
In 1949, the discovery of cortisone was considered a medical landmark and breakthrough. Since that time, there has actually NEVER been a study to prove the long term benefits of these injections.
Studies have proven time and time again, that while most cortisone injections may provide temporary pain relief, often around 3 to 6 months, patient clinical outcomes after a year were WORSE than those that did absolutely NOTHING! Think about that for a second…..People who did NOTHING for a year were actually better off than the patients trying to fix their problem with a cortisone injection!
Cortisone shots are frequently recommended by orthopedic specialists for muscle and joint pain. These shots wipe out inflammation and hopefully your pain. Your ortho is busy, and these shots are fast and easy. Sounds good right?
Not so fast.
Is inflammation or pain the problem?
Inflammation and pain are the effect of your problem! When a tendon, muscle, or joint gets overloaded and injured, it will become swollen or inflamed. If you want proper healing, you actually need inflammation. If the inflammation is removed, the next steps in the healing process cannot occur. So your injured tendon, muscle, or joint never recovers. And it gets worse…
Removing inflammation leads to a bigger problem. You take away the warning that lets you know something is wrong. Your pain!!! Your problem is not your pain. Your problem is your injured body part. The purpose of your pain is to stop you from beating up your body. Pain serves as your body’s check engine light, or alert system. A reminder that “Hey buddy, something is broken and it needs to be fixed.” If you aren’t getting this warning, you keep damaging the area, and your problem escalates. This is why your pain often comes back even stronger, your orthopedist recommends another injection, and the vicious cycle continues…
Is this the only problem with cortisone?
Cortisone actually eats away at your cartilage. So if you get an injection into your joint, that joint will be further damaged by the exact thing that is supposed to help it.
Another big problem is with treating an injured tendon. The injection weakens the tendon and can even cause it to tear. An injection should never be done directly into a tendon.
Some other possible side effects you probably don’t want might include:
- Joint infection
- Nerve damage
- Thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site
- Thinning of nearby bone (osteoporosis)
- Weight Gain
- Easy Bruising
- Elevation of Blood Pressure
- Acne (steroid acne)
- Whitening or lightening of the skin around the injection site
- Increased blood sugar levels in diabetics
- Bone Death (osteonecrosis)
The ONLY person who should be getting a cortisone shot is a pro athlete that has a huge competition in the near future, after they’ve accepted the long term consequences of the injection.
You probably aren’t that person.
So what should you do if you’re thinking about getting a corisone shot, or have had one before?
Schedule a visit with us at Apollo Soft Tissue and Spine. You need a long term solution. The only way to get that is by first finding the true cause of your injury, followed by advanced treatment to fix it. We hope you have found this post helpful. If you or someone you know is considering a cortisone shot, we recommend sharing this, pumping the brakes, and coming to our office for a second opinion.
Drs. Drew Ruebbelke and John Appleman specialize in finding and fixing the true cause of your muscle and joint pain. To schedule an appointment, call (720) 593-2047. It’s time for you to finally Live Pain Free.