What are steroid injections?
Steroids occur naturally in the human body. Artificial steroids act like natural steroids to reduce inflammation in an affected area or joint but also have a wider whole-body effect. Steroid injections have been used for many years as a quick and effective treatment for soft tissue conditions, joint pain, and inflammation. The effects are usually short lasting, up to 3 months, usually 4-6 weeks, but can give a window of opportunity to engage with rehabilitation and a home exercise program for longer lasting benefits.
What are they recommended for?
Steroid injections are often recommended for people with painful conditions such as acute flare up of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, frozen shoulder, tendinitis and carpel tunnel syndrome. The injections are used to reduce inflammation and can also reduce joint swelling and pain which will aid mobility and function of the joint and surrounding soft tissues for a period of time.
What will be injected?
Steroid Injections are often referred to as Corticosteroid Injections and are available in different forms. The most common ones used in Musculoskeletal, soft tissue and joints; are Kenalog (Triamcinolone) and Depo-Medrone (Methylprednisolone). The affected soft tissue region or joint is injected with the lowest effective doses low a dose as recommended in latest evidence, which should help reduce inflammation locally. Sometimes a local anaesthetic will also be injected with the steroid that acts as a painkiller and may provide immediate temporary pain relief, usually Lidocaine.
How quickly does it take to feel a reduction in symptoms following steroid injections?
When a local anaesthetic is injected, this can reduce your pain within a few minutes of the injection. The steroid affect will take slightly longer to occur, usually 1-2 days but can be up to a week. Within this time, you can continue to manage your pain through gentle movement, analgesia, ice, or heat packs. It is advised that you take a few days of relative rest from vigorous or excessive exercise / stress of the joint / area affected after the injection.
How long do the affects last?
The effects of the steroids should only really last for up to 4-6 weeks, but the benefits can last longer periods of time, particularly if used in conjunction with a rehabilitation program. Steroid injections can promote an anti-inflammatory response which will help to reduce pain and swelling allowing you to focus on your rehabilitation exercises.
How do I have a steroid injection?
A clinical specialist will complete a full assessment to conclude whether an injection is the appropriate treatment for your symptoms. As the patient you will be advised of the risk factors and be provided the appropriate advice to make an informed decision. Please note the injection will not be performed on your 1st visit.
Most injections are quick and easy to perform within clinic and are utilised alongside an individually tailored client assessment and rehabilitation programme to enable the most effective recovery.
Steroid injections are commonly delivered in the NHS and are a treatment option for many Musculoskeletal conditions https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/steroid-injections/
Risks and Side Effects of steroid injections
Most people have steroid injections without any side effects. It is normal to experience slight discomfort and pressure during the time of the injection, and occasionally you can experience post injection pain within the first 24 hours. This usually settles by itself a few days, however taking painkillers such as paracetamol may help (please check with your pharmacist). There is a risk of infection at the site of the injection or in the joint, but this risk is minimised using safe technique within a clinic setting. With steroid injections there is a small risk of bruising, thinning or colour changes locally in the skin at the injection site.
The steroid dose is very low therefore normal side effects of steroid tablets are very rare. However, it is important not to overuse injections and it is advised not to have more than 3 per year at any 1 site.
Steroid injections can lower your immune system so any vaccinations 2 weeks before or after the injection should be avoided. Similarly, you should be clear of any signs of infection, particularly COVID ideally for 4 weeks prior to the injection.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding Steroid Injections, please call the clinic on 0191 285 8701 for a free telephone triage call.
|Initial assessment plus follow up appointment to carryout injection||£240|
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