Corticosteroid injections of joints and soft tissues are used to treat muscle and joint inflammation. This treatment has been proven effective over many years and is a popular choice with leading chronic pain specialists.
Because cortisone injections have been proven safe and effective at a stand-alone treatment for conditions such as arthritis, they have become the go-to treatment for many inflammatory joint diseases.
However, these injections have also proved to be a remarkably effective adjunct to pharmacologic and physical therapies. Cortisone injections are also used to rehabilitate sports injuries and surgeries and can be an essential part of a patient’s recovery.
How inflammation occurs
Inflammation happens as a natural reaction to physical injury. Your body will respond to injury with a non-specific immune response that releases leukocytes. The local blood flow increases at the injury site and will carry the polymorphonuclear leukocytes, macrophages, and plasma proteins to the injured area.
All of this biological activity causes the pain, swelling, heat, and redness characteristic of inflammation. However, while we may associate the pain and inflammation with an apparent injury such as a fall or sudden impact during a sporting activity, inflammation can be caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
In fact, there can be many causes of inflammation, including:
- Connective tissue disease
- Degenerative joint disease (DJD)
- Inherited congenital disorders
- Miscellaneous systemic diseases
- Muscle strains
While our inflammatory response is perfectly natural and serves an essential purpose in bringing in leukocytes and removing damaged cells, the inflammatory reaction can often be counterproductive, especially with chronic inflammation diseases.
Getting a diagnosis from a rheumatologist
Dr Bhadauria and his team are here to help diagnose and treat patients with chronic pain symptoms. Corticosteroid muscle and joint injections can be used as part of successful treatment in the recovery of sports injuries and surgeries and the long-term management of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases.
We can diagnose and treat many inflammatory conditions, including:
- Inflammatory arthritis of the knees, hips, or shoulders
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
While you can get our help with corticosteroid injections as part of your rehabilitation from a sports injury or surgical procedure, we can also help patients manage their autoimmune pain conditions.
Researchers have many ideas about why autoimmune diseases occur, but there are no permanent cures for these conditions so far. Autoimmune diseases happen when our body’s natural immune system attacks healthy body tissues. This results in pain and inflammation of muscles, joints and tendons.
Who is suitable for cortisone injections
If you suffer from chronic pain symptoms, you will need to have a physical examination with a rheumatologist. Lab tests will also be conducted to help with your diagnosis and treatment, the results of which will determine whether you will be a good candidate for cortisone injections.
Many of our patients ask us if they can continue to exercise while having corticosteroid injections. While you can continue to exercise, we do recommend that you choose low-impact exercise so that you can keep up your fitness and flexibility levels without exacerbating your symptoms.
Article by Dr. Naveen Bhadauria