In the realm of painful inflammatory health conditions, daily life disruptions and diminished well-being can be all too common. When over-the-counter remedies fall short in alleviating more severe pain, cortisone shots emerge as a recommended treatment option, guided by your pain doctor. To help you gain a better understanding of this approach, we've compiled answers to five common questions regarding cortisone injections.

1. What is a cortisone shot?
A cortisone shot, also known as a steroid or corticosteroid injection, serves as a potent remedy for managing painful inflammatory conditions that impair your quality of life. Cortisone itself is an artificial counterpart to cortisol, a hormone naturally found in the human body. This synthetic steroid plays a pivotal role in mitigating inflammation and, as a result, reducing pain.

2. What happens during and after the injection?
Before administering the injection, your physician diligently cleanses the injection site using a specialized antiseptic solution, thus reducing the risk of infection. Subsequently, they apply a numbing ointment to mitigate discomfort from the injection. Once the injection is administered, the doctor safeguards the treated area with a bandage to minimize the potential for infection.

Following the injection, you may experience some redness at the site and a warm sensation. As a part of the aftercare routine, your doctor might recommend applying an ice pack to the injection site to alleviate any post-injection discomfort and to stave off bruising. It's also advisable to opt for showers over baths for several days after the injection to prevent any complications. During this time, it's important to treat the area with gentleness and avoid overexerting it.

3. What is cortisone used for?
Cortisone injections are frequently employed to address localized inflammation within specific parts of the body, such as a particular muscle or joint. In some instances, they are prescribed to quell more widespread inflammation, spanning across multiple joints. Beyond this, cortisone injections can affect metabolism, restrict blood vessels, and change how your immune system reacts to specific stimuli. Cortisone injections provide treatment for a number of ailments, such as:
- Arthritis (including osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Systemic autoimmune conditions (such as lupus)
- Gout
- Bursitis
- Psoriasis
- Eczema
- Cystic acne
- Back pain
- Tendinitis

Cortisone shots can serve as either the primary treatment option or as a component of a broader treatment strategy. If you happen to suffer from any of the above conditions, discussing the potential benefits of cortisone shots with your doctor is a prudent step toward enhancing your well-being.

4. What are the advantages of cortisone shots?
Cortisone injections wield the power to target inflammation in specific body areas. They're equally effective in tackling inflammation within singular joints or tendons and in managing more widespread bodily inflammation that affects multiple joints. Moreover, cortisone injections allow precise delivery of the steroid directly into the afflicted region. This precision accelerates the onset of desired results, typically taking effect within a few days. The efficacy of a cortisone injection generally persists for about a month or even longer.

5. What are the side effects of cortisone shots?
While cortisone shots are renowned for their ability to mitigate pain and inflammation, they're not without potential side effects. In the short term, complications arising from cortisone use are rare. In exceptional instances, these injections can lead to issues such as infection, skin discoloration, tendon weakening, bleeding, and soreness at the injection site. It's essential to exercise caution if you're diabetic since some individuals report elevated blood sugar levels following cortisone shots.

In contrast, the long-term use of cortisone is linked to more severe complications. Prolonged use can result in skin thinning and diminished bone density, causing heightened susceptibility to bruising, facial puffiness, and elevated blood pressure – a significant risk factor for heart disease. In some cases, frequent cortisone injections may even precipitate the development of cataracts, a serious eye condition.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, a journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness, and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.