Cortisone Steroid Injection Treatment Birmingham
What is a steroid injection?
Steroids act to reduce inflammation direct at a site of an injury. They can be given in the form of tablets i.e. Ibuprofen but can also be given in the form of an injection, which is a much more effective form of treatment as it is administered directly to the source. A steroid injection can be injected into or around an inflamed injured joint to reduce pain and aid recovery. Steroid injections can work fast or can be delayed but generally speaking these forms of injections work best in the short term.
Local steroid injections can be a rapid and effective treatment for joint pain and inflammation, although the improvement is just temporary. Some steroids occur naturally in the body. Man-made steroids act like natural steroids to reduce inflammation. These should not be mistaken for steroids that bodybuilders would take in increase size.
Injected steroids are often recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other types of inflammatory arthritis. They may also be recommended for osteoarthritis if the joint area is very painful.
What do steroid injections treat?
Steroid Injections are generally used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis but can also be used for other painful joint conditions like gout. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of steroid injections, they are often used also in the treatment of chronic muscles tears, chronic tendon injuries and also chronic ligamentous issues, all of which have not responded prior to conservative management.
Steroid injections are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
Most injections are quick and easy to perform and can be given with or without ultrasound guidance. Often you will be given a steroid with a local anaesthetic to reduce the discomfort of the injection. This can numb your pain very fast but does wear off within half an hour. You may also have some numbness from the anaesthetic which may last up to 24hrs.
Is steroid injection for me?
A consultant or your GP will choose the recommended and appropriate steroid in relation to your condition and symptoms, this will then be your prescribed dose if you are an ideal candidate for a steroid injection.
The administration of the injection is a very simple procedure, after which you will rest for a short period and avoid strenuous exercise for the first couple of days. Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine, our injections are given as part of a complete treatment package as the steroid injection will often reduce pain but do not resolve the underlying problem. You will, therefore, be given follow up treatments to take full advantage of rehabilitation, strengthening and restoring best mobility. You may want to arrange transport home after the injection, because of the numbness.
Following your steroid injection
If you have an injection into a joint you should rest it, or at least avoid strenuous exercise, for the first 1-2 days. It's also important, however, not to rest for too long. Following the injection, you should undergo a course of treatment rehabilitation to optimise healing and recovery.
Possible side effects of steroid injections
Most people have injections without any side effects. Side-effects are often weak and short-lived but can include a temporary flare-up of joint pain, infection in rare cases, thinning of the skin or facial flushing. Occasionally people can notice a joint flare-up within the first 24 hours after injection. This usually settles by itself after a few days. Paracetamol can help with this. These will be discussed with you fully before the injection is consented to.
Steroids can occasionally cause some thinking of the skin, particularly with stronger mixes.
Signs of infection: If your joint becomes more painful and hot you should see your GP immediately especially if you are feeling unwell, or head to A&E.
People are often concerned about possible side effects such as weight gain. One of the advantages of having an injection compared to tablets is that the dose can be kept low. That means that these side effects are very rare.
Steroid injections are commonly used in conjunction with an appropriate rehabilitation program to help treat:
Inflammatory joint and soft tissue pain
Reduced mobility/stiffness within a joint
Bursitis of peripheral joints i.e. knee/shoulder/elbow
Temporary changes in women periods and changes in mood
Can I take other medications with local steroid injections?
You can take other medicines with local steroid injections. However, if you are taking a drug that thins the blood (an anticoagulant) such as warfarin, you may need an extra blood test to make sure your blood is not too thin to have the injection. This because it can increase the risk of bleeding into the joint. You should mention that you are taking anticoagulants so it is made clearly aware. if you discuss this before hand, you may be advised to adjust your warfarin dose before having the steroid injection.
Fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding
Current guidelines state that steroids are not harmful in pregnancy or breastfeeding so single steroid injections should not affect fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding. If however, you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should discuss it with your doctor before having the injection.
Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine, we will choose the most appropriate method of treatment for your condition and symptoms. Most injections are quick and easy to perform.
Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine, we like to focus our treatments on REPAIR and REGENERATION. Due to the toxicity of steroid, we are much more in favour of natural treatments that focus on tissue repair platelet rich plasma (PRP) for example. We also like to educate our patients about this and the differences. Therefore, our steroid injections will be of milder form, with the added addition of hyaluornic acid to aid tissue repair. However, If a stronger dose of steroid is required then it is the patient's responsibility to seek a prescription from their GP.
It is the patient's responsibility to make sure they fully understand and appreciate any associated side effects, prior to undergoing treatment.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Injection
If the patient is concerned about the side effects then we do offer a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory injection, which is a good natural alternative to steroid, without the unwanted side effects - TRAUMEEL, this is particularly of common use for athletes and practice in sports medicine.