Cortisone Shots

What is a cortisone shot?

A cortisone shot is an injection that is used to relieve pain and inflammation in a localized area of the body – usually joints such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, or hands. Cortisone shots can be used to help treat many conditions, including bursitis, gout, tendinitis, trigger finger, and several types of arthritis. It is thought to be especially effective for relieving pain from rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory types of arthritis.

The cortisone injection typically contains a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic to provide short- and long-term pain relief.

How do I know if a cortisone shot is right for me? 

If you suffer from chronic pain, especially in your joints, you may wish to ask your medical provider if a cortisone shot would be beneficial as part of your treatment plan. If you are unable to see your specialist or general practitioner, you can access a medical provider easily at Physicians Immediate Care. Following a consultation, he or she can recommend cortisone or other treatments.

What can I expect during my appointment?

At Physicians Immediate Care, your visit starts with a physical exam and medical history. Additional tests, such as X-Rays, may also be taken. If cortisone shots are recommended, your provider will explain the procedure, the risks, and the benefits. He or she will answer any questions you may have before the procedure.

When you are ready for your cortisone shot, the medical provider will start by thoroughly cleaning the area around the injection site. He or she may also apply a local anesthetic to numb the area before the injection. You may feel some pressure when the needle is inserted into the area and the medication is released. The anesthetic in the shot will begin relieving pain immediately, while the corticosteroid will relieve pain and inflammation over a longer period of time.

What happens after a cortisone shot?

It is common for patients to experience an increase in pain and inflammation for up to 48 hours after a cortisone injection before pain relief occurs. Other side effects can include redness and warmth of the chest and face. For patients with diabetes, blood sugar levels may rise temporarily.

As you recover from receiving your injection, you may be advised to protect the area by avoiding heavy lifting or putting unnecessary strain on the joint. To relieve pain, you may apply ice (not heat). Watch for signs of infection, and do not use a bathtub, hot tub or whirlpool for two days.

After 48 hours, you can expect the pain and inflammation in your joint to decrease.

How frequently will I need a cortisone shot?

The relief provided by a single cortisone shot can last up to several months. The number of cortisone shots you can receive may be limited in order to prevent deterioration of the cartilage within the joint, which may occur when cortisone shots are used too frequently. Your provider will let you know when you should return for your next checkup.

Where can I get a cortisone shot?

To find out if you might benefit from a cortisone shot, consult your doctor or visit a Physicians Immediate Care facility for an assessment. Our clinics are open 7 days a week, with extended hours for your convenience. Just walk into any of our 50+ locations or reserve a time here.