When arthritis causes inflammation and pain in your joints, your orthopedic doctor may recommend a cortisone injection as part of your treatment plan. The injection delivers medication directly to the inflamed joint and reduces inflammation. However, the cortisone pain relief is short term. Yet it allows the patient to undergo physical therapy which can further prolong relief.
Duration of relief varies
Cortisone shots are used in the treatment of several joint conditions in the body. How long the relief will last will depend upon various factors, such as the patient’s age, the condition treated, the joint affected, and patient’s overall health. Generally, a cortisone shot can suppress pain for anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months.
Number of shots
While there is no medical limit on how many injections you can receive, the number of shots your doctor recommends will depend upon your body’s response to the shot. If the first injection doesn’t provide sufficient pain relief, your doctor may give a second injection 4-6 weeks later. If there’s still no relief, a third injection may not be recommended.
Cortisone shots are only one of the treatment options
Remember that cortisone injections are only one of the tools in your overall treatment plan. Your orthopedic surgeon can provide you various other options for pain relief in your arthritis treatment.
The combination of a cortisone shot with physical therapy and lifestyle modifications has shown better long-term relief.
If you are considering a cortisone shot, discuss your goals and condition with your orthopedic doctor to determine whether cortisone shots will prove beneficial in your overall treatment.