What to Expect When Getting Back InjectionsSEMGeeks
If you’re used to getting back pain, you already know the drill. Stay active as much as possible, practice your exercises, follow the correct posture and take over-the-counter pain relievers. Over time, the pain usually decreases and you can return to your normal routine. However, there are times when the pain doesn’t go away or when flare-ups are more common than not. In these cases, you may need an extra boost like a cortisone injection.
What are Cortisone Injections? How Do They Work?
Cortisone shots are steroid injections that help relieve pain and inflammation in a certain region of the body. They’re usually injected into the joints like your spine, shoulder or knee. While these shots are generally safe, they are best used as an occasional back pain treatment.
Cortisone injections can be injected into the epidural space, tendons or bursae to relieve inflamed joints and tissues. They do not speed up healing times or prevent future problems, but they do help people get out of pain. When you feel more comfortable, it’s easier to get out of bed in the mornings and stay as active as possible. This is what will help your back muscles heal.
Each injection contains a formulation of medications like Novocaine (a numbing agent) and cortisone (a steroid). The solution is injected into the affected area and begins to work within 24 to 48 hours. Each person is different so it’s difficult to say how you will respond to cortisone. Some people have immediate pain relief and stay that way for a long time, while others only see a minimal effect.
What are the Side Effects of Steroid Shots?
For the most part, cortisone injections are safe and have a low risk of adverse effects. However, things can still happen. The main risk is infection, though this occurs less than 1 percent of the time. The needle can also damage a nerve or blood vessel.
One thing we do advise is to have as few cortisone shots as possible – usually 3 or 4 a year max. Too many injections in the same area can cause nearby tissues to break down and also thin out the skin.
How Effective are Cortisone Injections for Back Pain?
It’s important to know that steroid injections do not solve chronic back pain problems. They are effective at reducing pain and inflammation so that you can move around, do the appropriate exercises and strengthen your back muscles. However, if you don’t follow up with the necessary lifestyle changes, the pain will return months later and you’ll end up in the same position.
Jersey Rehab offers cortisone injections as a form of back pain treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our alternative approaches and the healthy habits that support a pain-free lifestyle.