What are the risks of corticosteroid injections?

What are the risks of corticosteroid injections?

Side Effects

The possible side effects of the injection are rare and include:

  • Flushing of the face for a few hours
  • Small area of fat loss or change in skin colour around the injection site
  • A temporary increase in pain 24 – 48 hours after the injection. If you experience
    increased pain for a longer period of time then please contact us for advice
  • Patients with diabetes may notice a temporary increase in blood sugar levels. If you have
    diabetes, you are advised to check your blood sugar levels the evening after having the
  • Temporary bruising or bleeding in the injected area, especially if you are taking antiplatelet medicines (such as aspirin) or anticoagulant medicines (such as warfarin).
    Please advise the team if you are taking any of these medicines
  • Infection: If the area becomes hot, swollen and painful for more than 24 hours, or if you
    feel generally unwell, you should contact David or doctor immediately. If they are unavailable, you should seek advice from your GP or A&E department
  • Slight vaginal bleeding / menstrual irregularities
  • Allergic reaction to the drug: This will usually happen immediately so you will be asked to wait for a short time after your injection to check for any reactions. If you have any signs of an allergic reaction after you have left the clinic then please seek medical advice

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Corticosteroid Injection
What happens during the injection appointment?

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections

The aim of this information page is to help answer some of the questions you may have about having a corticosteroid injection.

It explains the benefits and alternatives of the procedure as well as what you can expect when you come to David Steele Physiotherapy for an injection.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to David.

What is a corticosteroid injection?

A corticosteroid (or ‘cortisone’) is an anti-inflammatory medicine, which can be injected directly into the tissues that are causing your symptoms. It is a safer alternative to taking antiinflammatory medication by mouth. It acts directly in the area injected and is not the same as the steroids taken by bodybuilders or athletes.

What are the benefits – why should I have a corticosteroid injection?

  • The injection can help to relieve swelling, pain and stiffness caused by inflammation
  • This may in turn help you to start your rehabilitation and return to normal activities sooner by ‘breaking the
    cycle’ of pain and inflammation
  • It can also be helpful to aid in the diagnosis of your condition if it is not clear which structures are responsible for your pain
  • You may also have a local anaesthetic injected at the same time, which allows for temporary pain relief

Are there any other alternatives?

Alternatives to the injection include lifestyle changes, use of anti-inflammatory medicines and traditional manual physiotherapy.
Occasionally, a surgical opinion may be helpful. If you would like further information about these other options then please let us know.

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What Are The Risks Of Corticosteroid Injection?
What Happens During an Injection Appointment?

What happens during the injection appointment?

What happens during the injection appointment?

After a thorough examination and assessment by David he will decide if Injection Therapy is appropriate for you and discuss your options with you.
The benefits and risks of the injection will be explained to you in detail.
You will then require to give your consent for the procedure to take place.

The Injection

  1. You will then be placed in a comfortable position.
  2. The skin is cleaned with antiseptic.
  3. A needle is gently positioned into the affected area and the solution is injected through the needle.
  4. A plaster will be placed over the site to keep it clean.
  5. A few minutes after the injection you will be examined again.

Will I feel any pain?

The injection is not particularly painful as Davd is thoroughly trained in this procedure.
Sometimes it can be sore for a few hours after the procedure.
It is safe for you to continue to take prescribed analgesia during this period.

What happens after the procedure?

If local anaesthetic is also used in the injection, your pain may start to improve within a few minutes; although this may return when it wears off (similar to when you visit the dentist). The
steroid usually starts to work after 24 – 48 hours, but it may take a little longer.

The effect of the injection varies from person to person and usually continues to last for about six weeks. This does not necessarily mean that you will need a second injection, as long as you follow the advice given to you after the injection.

What do I need to do after I go home?

Depending on the cause of your pain, you may be asked to rest the area for a short period after the injection.
This does not usually mean total rest but refraining from activities that make your pain worse, after which you should try to gradually return to full function. This is to maximize the
benefit given by the injection.

You may also be shown some exercises to do whilst you are in the clinic.

If you are having other medical treatment within six weeks, you should tell the treating clinician that you have received a corticosteroid injection.

Will I have a follow-up appointment?

You may be asked to attend a follow up appointment a few weeks after your injection to check your progress.
David may also wish to follow up with some manual therapy appointments.
Occasionally, more than one injection is needed and this can be discussed at this appointment.

Other Articles in the Series:-
Corticosteroid Injection
What Are The Risks Of Corticosteroid Injection?