Steroid joint injections are used as a quick and effective treatment for soft tissue conditions, joint pain and inflammation throughout the body. They work by reducing inflammation and thereby helping to reduce pain, aid mobility and function of the joint.
What are they recommended for?
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Carpel Tunnel
- Trigger finger
To book in for a consultation to discuss this treatment and whether it is suitable for you, click here.
Frequently asked questions
The affected joint or soft tissue will be injected with a small dose of a type of steroid that will help reduce inflammation locally, and sometimes mixed with a local anaesthetic that acts as a painkiller and may provide immediate temporary pain relief.
Local anaesthetics can reduce your pain within a few minutes of the injection. The steroid effect will take slightly longer to occur, usually 1-2 days to a week. Within this time, you can continue to manage your pain through gentle movement, analgesia, ice or heat packs. It is advised that you take a few days of relative rest from vigorous or excessive exercise/stress of the joint/area affected after the injection.
Steroid injection are not a cure; they usually last for up to 3 months, sometimes longer however every patient is different. Their role is to help to reduce pain and swelling allowing you to focus on your rehabilitation exercises.
A clinical specialist will complete a full assessment to conclude whether an injection is the appropriate treatment for your symptoms. As the patient you will be advised of the risk factors and be provided the appropriate advice to make an informed decision.
Most injections are quick and easy to perform within the clinic and are utilised alongside an individually tailored client assessment and rehabilitation programme to enable the most effective recovery.
Most people have steroid injections without any side effects. It is normal to experience slight discomfort and pressure during the time of the injection.
- The most common risk is the injection has limited affect.
- Post injection pain within the first 24 hours can occasionally occur. This usually settles by itself within a few days, however taking painkillers such as paracetamol may help.
- There is a risk of infection, bleeding, thinning or discolouring the skin overlying the injection site
- Rise in blood sugar (usually in diabetes),
- Rise in blood pressure (usually in patients on medication for blood pressure)
- Lower immune system – this is extremely rare as only small amounts of steroid are injected.
The steroid dose is very low therefore normal side effects of steroid tablets are very rare. However, it is important not to overuse injections and it is advised not to have more than 3 per year.