What You Need to Know About Steroid Injections
Republic Pain Specialists is devoted to providing a number of different pain management solutions to our patients and community. We understand that no pain looks the same and, because of that, no treatment plan should look the same. By becoming informed in new practices and techniques and working with other professionals who are devoted to avoiding opioid based solutions, we give our patients the best outcome. Steroid injections are among the treatment options we can offer, but not in every case.
What is a steroid injection?
A steroid injection is an injection using a corticosteroid medication. They relieve pain and reduce inflammation, at the location of the injection, usually in joints, both large and small. They may also be injected into tendons or the fluid-filled sacs that cushion between joints and bones. You will want to stop any blood thinners for a few days before receiving your steroid injection and mention any other medications or supplements you may be taking to us before scheduling your appointment. The area will be cleaned and numbed and the injection will be administered. Depending on the location, we may use ultrasound guided placement to ensure the medication is administered to the right joint and to minimize adverse risks.
What is it for?
Steroid injections are used frequently for inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune disorders that similarly cause inflammation of the joints. They are also used for back and joint pain, gout, and tendinitis. While there may be extra pain and inflammation for 48 hours after the injection is given, relief should be felt after that and can last for several months. While the cause of the pain is rarely treated because of the steroid injection, the reduction in inflammation provides pain relief and can sometimes allow for healing as the area experiences less pressure.
What are the risks?
Depending on the number of steroid injections you get and the size of the dosage, you increase your risks incrementally. Joint infection, nerve damage, a flare of pain or inflammation, or other concerns could happen. Due to this, according to the Mayo Clinic, steroid injections should not occur less than six weeks apart or more than three or four times in a calendar year. This is also because they can decrease your immunity and can impact your body’s natural blood sugar levels. You shouldn’t use heating pads at the site to relieve pain, but a small amount of ice can be soothing. You will want to protect the injection site and follow our care. You should call us if you have any fever, severe pain, or redness after the first day.
To schedule an appointment to see if a steroid injection is right for you or to explore other pain management solutions, call our office today. We can administer a number of different pain relief techniques on site and will work with you to make a custom pain management plan that you can stick with.