HOW & WHY ARE STEROIDS USED?
Inflammations are localized physical conditions which affect a part of the body and causes it to become reddened, swollen, hot and painful. Inflammations can be managed by the use of steroid injections. Steroids are synthetic drugs which closely resemble cortisol, and they work by decreasing inflammations (swellings) and providing relief from pain.
Steroids are used to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases and conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Steroids can be administered in several forms but more commonly via guided injections, directly around the spinal column, discs spaces, nerves or peripheral regions like inflamed and arthritic joints, bursitis, tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis.
The effects of a steroid injection typically show within a couple of days, although it may take as long as 10-21 days. In some patients, a repeat injection may be required to produce adequate relief from pain, and if there’s no relief after, further medical help will be required.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
Steroid injections are effective ways to reduce pain and improve function, but they generally don’t cure illness. Common side effects that come with their use include facial redness, occasional low-grade fevers or flu-like symptoms, hiccups, sweating, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, increased heart rate, increased urination, generalized swelling, and abdominal cramping or bloating. These side effects occur in less than 5% of patients and commonly disappear within a few days after the injection. If your symptoms are lasting more than a few days, please contact our office.
If you are a diabetic, follow your sugars carefully for a few days, as steroids can make your blood sugar rise. Small risk of infection (although the skin is cleaned thoroughly with an antiseptic solution), a small amount of bleeding may occur.
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