Injecting a steroid and local anesthetic solution into painful joints has been a foundational treatment for pain management since the 1950s. As a powerful anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone (a common variant) has the capacity to quickly relieve pain for inflamed bursa, muscles, tendons, and joints. Other examples of this drug class are prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone. All are different, jaw-stretching names that work similarly to reduce inflammation and allow the body to heal itself.
The exact type of steroid used depends upon the condition being treated. While primary-care doctors or dermatologists might choose a different medicine, Dr. Kaufman focuses on cortisone for its ability to reduce inflammation fast. As we’ve mentioned previously in other sections, it’s inaccurate to think of cortisone as a pain reliever, though that is the ultimate goal. When you consider that pain is often caused by a panicked immune system desperately trying to heal an injury for which it is hopelessly overmatched – resulting in chronic swelling and inflammation – a cortisone injection makes perfect sense.
In the absence of a systemic condition like rheumatoid arthritis, a cortisone injection works best when targeted to a specific trouble spot, like a painful knee, hip, shoulder, or lower back. Dr. Kaufman has seen significant improvement in cases of frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, rotator cuff issues, bursitis, and more from a single dose of cortisone. A fear of needles may cause concern in a certain percentage of the population, but we hope you won’t be so quick to dismiss the possible gain in quality of life. It’s natural that a patient would be concerned with the spine perhaps more than any other region. After all, it’s the command center for the body. Keep in mind that injections into sensitive and critical areas like the the lower back to address chronic lumbar pain is conducted by a highly-skilled technician using x-ray technology to precisely guide the needle into the spinal canal.
The bottom line is that cortisone works faster and avoids the stomach irritation often associated with oral steroids, can be easily given in the doctor’s office, and enjoys a high success rate. What’s not to like?
If you are presently in the Miami area and in pain, call Dr. Kaufman at 786.369.4010 to schedule an appointment today. You don’t have to live like that.