Interventional Pain Management

Tests and Procedures

Steroid Injections

Steroids aim to decrease inflammation and reduce immune system activity by attempting to closely mimic cortisol (a hormone that catalyzes the formation of glucose).

When to Consider a Steroid Injection

Steroids are very useful in treating a variety of conditions where inflammation or pain could occur. Conditions in which steroid injections might be used can include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Nerve compression issues
    (such as carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Plantar Fasciitis

In cases such as these, a steroid injection can help relieve pain and inflammation.

When Not to Use a Steroid Injection

Steroid injections should only be given in select circumstances. There are several conditions which your doctor could identify that would make steroid injections a poor therapeutic choice for you. These include:

  • A joint is too damaged where a steroid injection would be ineffective (especially if the joint has been severely weakened by arthritis)
  • If the patient is taking anticoagulants (blood thinners)
  • If the physician has already treated the patient’s affected area with steroid injections multiple times

How a Steroid Injection Can Help You

The goal of steroids is to reduce joint inflammation. The preferred method for administering steroids are local steroid injections since they are more likely than oral steroids to produce positive results in treating the inflammation while minimizing the side effects.

Possible Side Effects

Whenever steroids are administered, there is a chance of having side effects. However, with proper treatment, they can be minimized. Some of the side effects include:

  • Joint infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Flare-ups of joint inflammation and/or pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Weakening or possible rupture of surrounding tendons

If you have joint inflammation, you should discuss steroid injections as a possible treatment option with a medical professional at DSP Health System. They can evaluate whether it would be a proper course of treatment for you.