Cortisone is a steroid produced and released into the body by the adrenal gland when you are under stress. This type of natural cortisone is released into the bloodstream and is short- acting.
Injectible Cortisone is synthetically produced cortisone that closely imitates the cortisone that the human body produces. The problem with this injectible cortisone is that it is not injected into the blood stream, but directly into an inflamed area. It is made to act for a longer amount of time.
Even though the cortisone shot is helpful, it is also harmful, and can be painful. According to The Department of Orthopedic Surgery, the use of corticosteroid injections can delay the body’s normal repair response. Animal studies have shown effects of weakening of tendons and softening of cartilage with cortisone injections. Repeated cortisone injections multiply these effects and increase the risk of potential problems. This is the reason many physicians limit the number of injections they offer to a patient, usually limiting them to three injections.
Sometimes the injected cortisone causes tendon rupture. Also, the cortisone crystallizes when injected and can cause worse pain than before the shot. When this happens, it is called ‘cortisone flare.’ In most cases this lasts one to two days, and can be treated by putting ice on the injected area. Another side effect is when the injection causes your skin to whiten. This side effect is not harmful though. These two side effects are not serious compared to other side effects, such as infection in the injected area, or, if you have diabetes, this shot can cause your blood sugar to increase. (Corticosteroid Injections: Their Use and Abuse Fadale and Wiggins J Am Acad Orthop Surg.1994; 2: 133-140)
Shots are also costly, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars a shot. Without a medical plan, a shot in the knee could cost $400-900 a time (for relief that might last up to three months, if you are lucky. Ask how long the pain relief will last before you do it. The shot may wear off before your payments do! One patient said that while he only paid $500 for four shots into his lower back, his insurance had to pay $26,400, which is absurd!
Many people with chronic pain who resort to cortisone injections continue to have long term problems, requiring more invasive and damaging procedures in the future, surgery for example.
Want better results? Chiropractic is an effective relief of pain that does not have the side effects of cortisone shots. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven to repair damaged tissue, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. Chiropractic is cost effective. For the cost of one cortisone injection, you can have a series of Chiropractic combined with physical therapy at our office, to heal the underlying cause of the pain and inflammation. Dr. Jason Wong and Dr. Haidee Wong correct the underlying problem, not just "mask the symptoms" like the cortisone and/or epidural shots do.