How Long Do Steroid Shots Last?

Cortisone injections are a popular treatment for joint pain caused by inflammation such as arthritis. Learn how long steroid shots last & their benefits.

How Long Do Steroid Shots Last?

Cortisone injections are a popular treatment for joint pain caused by inflammation, such as arthritis. The effects of the injection usually last up to two months, but sometimes longer. Cortisone may reduce inflammation that damages joints and can start to take effect right away. The swelling usually improves within a few days and pain relief may come in a few days or weeks, depending on how quickly the swelling settles.

Most people who have received a cortisone injection say that their pain gets better over a period of days or weeks, with the effect of the injection lasting between six weeks and six months. Although cortisone reduces inflammation and can make you feel good, this effect is temporary since it does not cure the underlying disease. However, this pain relief window can help with rehabilitation and the combination of a cortisone injection with exercise may provide more significant pain relief. In addition, lifestyle factors such as weight loss, muscle strength and footwear can help.

The results of cortisone injections generally depend on the reason for the treatment.Cortisone injections usually cause a temporary increase in pain and swelling up to 48 hours after the injection. After that, the pain and swelling of the affected joint should decrease and can last up to several months. For many people, cortisone injections provide pain relief that lasts for several months. Often, patients schedule periodic injections at 6-month intervals to keep pain at bay.

A pain management specialist may also recommend other interventions such as physical therapy or pain relievers for long-term pain relief.A cortisone injection usually takes 4 to 5 days to start working and relieving arthritis pain. Doctors recommend that you take steroid injections at least one week before any event so that they have time to work. You may receive a steroid injection in your shoulders, spine, hands, hips, knees or feet to treat shoulder pain, neck pain, hip pain etc.Steroid injections are generally used to treat chronic pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and autoimmune disorders. Cortisone injections usually include a corticosteroid medication to relieve pain and inflammation over time and an anesthetic to relieve pain immediately.As a general rule, I suggest waiting a full 4 weeks before coming to a conclusion as to whether cortisone will continue to work.

If you take anticoagulants, you may need to stop taking them for several days before your cortisone injection to reduce the risk of bleeding or bruising.It is important to get enough rest in the days following cortisone injections to prevent the exacerbation from getting worse. That said, steroid injections can provide much needed pain relief for patients with arthritis and allow them to participate more actively in physical therapy which may have long-term benefits. For example, if you received a steroid injection in your ankle try to stay away as much as you can for a few days.You should also know that a steroid injection may cause a temporary increase in pain symptoms for a few days. However if you have advanced arthritis you may need to take oral steroids or have joint replacement surgery.Finally it is important to participate in physical therapy and rehabilitation after cortisone injections to get the full benefits of this treatment.