What to Do When Steroid Injections Don't Work

Learn what happens if a steroid injection doesn't work and what other options are available for pain relief.

What to Do When Steroid Injections Don't Work

It can be disheartening to learn that cortisone injections don't work for pain relief. Fortunately, there are other options that may be more effective. Before administering a cortisone injection, your provider should have taken x-rays or performed other diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis must be treated with specific medications that slow the progression of the disease, and cortisone injections may work in addition to these medications, but they won't work on their own.In the case of tendonitis, applying ice to ice packs and taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) during the first or second week can help.

If pain persists, physical or occupational therapy should be considered to perform recommended exercise regimens to strengthen the rotator cuff and shoulder blade muscles. If this doesn't work, a cortisone injection into the bag surrounding the rotator cuff tendons may be considered. If it fails and is not relieved after six weeks or if the pain returns, you may need to consider surgery.There is no medical limit to the number of injections a person can receive, but there are concerns about repeated cortisone injections in specific areas of the body. The individual response to a cortisone injection varies; some patients don't experience pain relief with cortisone treatments.

If the first injection doesn't ease the pain, your doctor may try a second injection four to six weeks later. If there is no improvement after the second injection, a third injection is not recommended.If you haven't experienced any pain relief, you may not have given the injection long enough for it to work. It could also mean that cortisone isn't relieving inflammation enough. After a few weeks of no relief, call your healthcare provider to see what the next steps are in your treatment plan.In this procedure, a steroid agent such as triamcinolone is administered together with a local anesthetic agent such as lidocaine to the shoulder.

If you have chronic pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis or sciatica and have tried steroid injections or other conventional treatments without success, you could be a candidate for this procedure, which may help relieve pain. Masci performs a nerve block for some injections, such as plantar fasciitis, to make a painful injection much more comfortable.Another treatment option could be epidural steroid injections; however, what happens if epidural steroid injections don't work? If you're wondering what to do when epidural steroid injections don't work, it will be a pleasure to help. If the treated area is very swollen, it may take up to three weeks to feel the effects of the injection.Steroids are the tool of these practices, as they simply reduce inflammation and often symptoms. While steroid injection for the treatment of rotator cuff pain generally works, there are times when it doesn't work.

This is more likely to happen if your provider didn't use an x-ray or ultrasound to guide the injection.Epidural steroid injections for back pain are sometimes given to those who experience symptoms of sciatica or lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), in which the spinal canal is affected by soft tissue degeneration which can affect the lower back. Hyaluronic acid injections and PRP injections are often effective for patients with mild to moderate levels of joint degeneration.If you're wondering what to do when epidural steroid injections don't work, you should always talk to your doctor. Pain relievers can be injected to make you more comfortable while you wait for surgery, but these are not a long-term solution. Steroid injections are often not effective when trying to avoid lumbar fusion surgery and may not be appropriate for all cases of back pain.Although epidural steroid injections can be effective in a variety of situations, they don't necessarily work for everyone.

I had a third steroid injection in my shoulder 4 days ago and resting has been difficult because of the Christmas holidays.