Cortisone injections aren’t risk free and they don’t actually “heal” anything.
They DO knock down inflammation very quickly, BUT they do it at a cost.
Cortisone is extremely catabolic, meaning it breaks down the tissues it comes in contact with and makes them weaker.
If you can avoid a cortisone injection, you should.
The way we’ve seen cortisone injections being useful is creating a window of opportunity for rehab.
Sometimes symptoms are just too high to get the ball rolling in rehab and an injection can give you some momentum; we are talking constant 8-10/10 levels of pain, inability to sleep, constant sharp shooting pain, nothing provides relief, etc.
If your doctor is recommending a cortisone shot and you don’t fit into that category, here are some questions we recommend asking:
1) What are the risks involved?
2) What conservative therapy can I try first before getting an injection?
3) Why do you believe this is the best option for me at this time?
4) What will a successful return to activity look like post injection?
The big thing to remember is that even though the shot knocked down your symptoms, it doesn’t mean the tissues have actually been healed.
If you get a cortisone injection it’s important to work through the rehab with someone who understands both the injury and the consequences of any injection/procedure you’ve had.
Otherwise the likelihood of re-injury is much higher.
If you need help and don’t want to stumble through that process on your own we’re here for you, and happy to answer any questions you may have.