There are many causes of knee pain and some arise from accidental injuries, sports injuries or health conditions such as osteoarthritis. While many people will reach for over-the-counter pain relief, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets, sometimes these painkillers are not enough to ease your pain to a comfortable or manageable level.
If your knee pain is caused by inflammation it could be an inflamed tendon that is causing the pain. This is a condition called tendonitis and it can seriously restrict the movement of the knee joint. If other treatments such as painkillers or ultrasound don’t work to reduce pain, then a steroid injection may be recommended.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and while it can affect any of your joints, it is most noticeable when it causes pain and stiffness in your knees. A lot of people with osteoarthritis will avoid any movement that can cause them pain, but when it affects the knees it can reduce mobility and muscle strength because people will avoid standing or walking as much as possible.
While osteoarthritis is a long term condition, it may not worsen over time if you get the most effective treatment for it. This can include having steroid injections in the knee joint to help reduce pain and improve the mobility of the joint.
Steroid injections for knee pain
If you have sustained a knee injury that is causing you pain and doesn’t seem to be easing with time, it is worth seeing your doctor to have your knee examined. Your GP may refer you to a specialist rheumatologist, such as Dr Bhadauria, for further investigation and appropriate treatment especially when over-the-counter painkillers are not helping.
After a thorough examination and checking your medical record, Dr Bhadauria may recommend you have a steroid injection in your knee. Depending on how severe your knee pain or joint condition, you may be given a local anaesthetic before the steroid injection is administered.
The great thing is that steroid injections can work quickly to relieve your knee pain and the pain-relieving effects can last for many weeks or even months at a time. In most cases of knee injuries, one injection is usually enough to allow your injury to heal so you may not need any follow up treatment.
For more long-term health conditions such as osteoarthritis, you may need to have more steroid injections, but it is not recommended to have more than two or three injections per year.
Who can have steroid injections in the knee?
Steroid injections for pain relief in the knee are usually suitable for most people, however, you must inform your doctor if any of the following situations apply to you:
- You are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant
- You have any other health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy or high blood pressure
- You have liver, heart or kidney problems
- You are taking any other prescription medications
In the above-listed cases, you may not suitable for steroid injections. However, you may still be recommended for steroid injections if your doctor believes the benefits will outweigh any risks.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team if you need any help or advice about steroid injections for pain relief. We are here to help!