When talking about steroid injections, we are not talking about anabolic steroids like the ones professional athletes are accused of using. We are talking about cortisone, and kenalog which are used for temporary relief of pain. In the body, cortisone suppresses inflammation, which is great for pain relief because inflammation is causing the pain. The downside of these injections is that the inflammation is also working to heal the injury and when we suppress the inflammation, we are stopping the healing. Additionally, eliminating that pain allows for further injury of the joint because we’re not feeling the pain that would be limiting us from using a weakened joint.
Regenerative injection therapies (RIT) work to temporarily increase both inflammation and circulation, which is why the injury is not fully healing in the first place. With an increase in inflammation, more attention is focused on repairing the area treated to further strengthen the injury and thus reduce pain. These injections tend to be cumulative and after successive injections, more pain relief is achieved. To read more about RIT, take a look at our pages on Prolotherapy and Platelet therapy for more information.
Note – there are some situations that I believe steroid injections might be beneficial. This is in the case of bursitis [link to bursitis] and with some mild acute injuries. In the case of mild acute injuries, I believe it may be worth trying one injection of a steroid if it will be covered by insurance and a person is apprehensive to try a RIT. From what I have seen clinically, the people that get long term relief are typically the exception.
For more information about how to get Prolotherapy and Platelet therapy in Gilbert, AZ, schedule a free consultation to find out how this can give you relief and start fully living your life again.