Pain Myth #3: “A Cortisone Injection is the Answer To Your Problem”

Pain Myth #3: “A Cortisone Injection is the Answer To Your Problem”

This is Part 3 of our 5 Part series “Myths You Were Told You About Your Pain”

Pain Myth #1: “Rest Will Fix Your Problem”

Pain Myth #2: Just Stretch It

Pain Myth #4: “It’s Because of Your Age”

Pain Myth #5: “You Need To Get an MRI”

I’m sure either you or someone you know has been told a cortisone injection will fix the problem.

Unfortunately, that’s just not true. While it may help ease some of the pain, IT WON’T FIX YOUR PROBLEM.

Just getting rid of someone’s pain doesn’t mean that the problem is fixed. This is why many times someone will feel better for a couple weeks/months after some type of symptomatic treatment and then the pain comes back “out of the blue.” This happens because the true cause of the problem wasn’t addressed.

Over the years, cortisone injections have been used because it’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties were thought to be beneficial to getting rid of pain and healing the inflamed tissues.

More & more research, however, has shown that cortisone injections actually interfere with the body’s natural healing response. Cortisone’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce swelling, but by doing so it also inhibits the body’s natural healing process. This results in the abnormal/injured tissues (i.e. tendons, ligaments, etc) staying in an unhealthy state for a longer period of time and being prone to further injury.

It’s best to be informed of the effectiveness, appropriate usage, and potential downside of cortisone shots.

More often than not, 1 of 3 things are offered for pain “relief” – medications, injections, or surgery. It’s best to understand the limitations and appropriateness of these options and use them only when necessary.

While cortisone can potentially help ease some pain, it does nothing to repair the injury, fix the root cause of the problem, or prevent the problem from happening again.

Overall, I think cortisone injections are overused and not as effective as promised. However, I do believe that there is a time and a place when they can be used. If someone is looking for a potential quick & temporary relief of their pain to help them do something in the near future (i.e. dance at their son’s wedding, go on vacation, etc.), then an injection could be a good choice.

In the other cases – which is the vast majority of them – I (and fortunately more and more doctors) feel that a cortisone shot is not worth the risk and, nowadays, the cost as health insurance coverage gets less and less.

The best course of action to take is to speak with a medical professional who can give you the time to fully discuss your issue(s) & personal goals and be able to provide you with the necessary treatment and education to eliminate your pain and address the underlying cause(s) of the problem.


Pain Myth #4: “It’s Because of Your Age”

Remember, it’s Your health. Your time. Your money. Your choice.

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