Osteoarthritis can have a big impact on your life. At times, the pain can be severe enough to make everyday tasks difficult and time consuming. Unfortunately, the treatment options are limited, and most don’t provide immediate relief. Of the ones that do, corticosteroid injections seem to be the most popular. However, before you consider this avenue for arthritis relief, it is important to know the risks with the benefits.
How Corticosteroid Injections Work
Corticosteroids are a class of medications used to reduce inflammation. They can be administered in several different ways, but injection seem to be the most common method amongst arthritis patients. The steroids work by decreasing inflammation at the injection site, thus reducing pain and improving mobility. They can be extremely helpful for people with severe joint pain and limited mobility due to inflammation.
As noted, corticosteroids are quite efficient at reducing inflammation and improving mobility in the affected areas. They are relatively cheap in comparison to some other treatment options, like surgery. Most injections can be administered quickly and easily right in your doctor’s office. The pain relief is often noticed more rapidly, when compared to more traditional anti-inflammatory oral-medications.
Corticosteroids can have a number of side effects when injected into regions of the body. Though many of these risks can be eliminated if injected directly into the joint, there still remains the danger of:
- Joint tissue damage
- Thinning of the cartilage
- Nerve irritation
- Weakening of the ligament
Corticosteroids are a viable option of treating osteoarthritis pain temporarily, but it is by no means a cure, or an end-all be-all. Pain relief can last from several months to several years, depending on the individual, whilst others may find relief for only short periods of time. Arthritis is a difficult and complicated disease that should be approached with a comprehensive treatment plan. Diet, exercise, and supplements for joint pain should be used in conjunction with steroidal treatments, ensuring long-lasting pain relief. Consult your physician to determine if corticosteroids may be appropriate for your particular situation.
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