What you should know before injecting
Cortisone injections are touted as the end all be all for pain relief, but what’s the truth? If your doctor is recommending injection therapy, it’s important to get the facts.
While these injections do help many, they do not work for all and even worse, they make actually do more harm than good for some.
Cortisone was developed back in the 1940s. It has become one of the most commonly prescribed pain relievers on the market today. It is known for rapid relief for even the most painful of conditions.
Early studies questioned the long-term effects of cortisone. In 1954, a study revealed that over half of the patients who received shots for tendinitis experienced a relapse within six months. Despite this, this drug became a standard treatment for many tendon and joint problems, with over 9 million yearly injections being given.
What is Cortisone?
Cortisone is a steroid that helps combat inflammation (swelling in soft tissue).
New Research May Have You Thinking Twice
The majority of injuries corticosteroids are prescribed for occur over an extended period of time due to excess stress placed on an area of soft tissue where there is a micro tear formation. Because of the excess pressure, tendons and ligaments can fray and become replaced with scar tissue. Buildup of scar tissue contributes to chronic pain and is not the same as a short-term inflammatory process for an acute injury.
How Could Cortisone Make an Injury/Pain Worse?
Cortisone eliminates the inflammation phase which is necessary for the healing process. Without the inflammatory response, it can accelerate tendon and ligament degeneration. Swelling and inflammation from acute injury supply extra oxygen and nutrients to speed the repair process. Clotting proteins enter the damaged area and form a gel-like mesh that holds together tissue for repair.
Interesting Medical Fact
The medical community has moved from labeling tendon damage tendonitis (the “itis” ending referring to inflammation) to tendinopathy. This change emphasizes that degeneration is the issue, not inflammation itself.
What the Current Studies Say…
When looking at hip, shoulder, and elbow pain researchers found that the shots did bring fast pain relief. In fact, it lasted several weeks. When the patients were re-examined at 6 months and a year the results were not nearly so rosy. Overall, people who received cortisone shots had a much lower rate of recovery than those who rested, used chiropractic care, or went to physical therapy.
Some important stats
-Those who did the shots had a 63% higher risk of relapse
-Those who received multiple injections had a 57% risk of worse outcomes when compared to single injection
-Research has shown that for every cortisone injection your risk of bone fracture due to demineralization increases by 21%
A Better Approach to Pain Relief
At Kaster Chiropractic, we help patients improve their movement and reduce inflammation naturally.
Improving Movement and Range: Improving joint movement allows the musculoskeletal system to work correctly. This is at the heart of treating injuries at Kaster Chiropractic.
Strengthen the Supporting Structures: It is vital to strengthen the muscles that support the joint and help to control movement. Rehabilitation exercises combined with regular chiropractic adjustments are vital to keeping the low back moving properly.
Reduce Inflammation Naturally: The intensity of pain is often increased in those who have systemic inflammation. By eating a clean anti-inflammatory diet, you can reduce pain intensity and sensitivity.
Relax the Body – Massage, Yoga, Meditation, and Epsom Salts Baths can all help to allow the body to relax and reduce pain levels.
If you are living with pain, we invite you to call the office of Kaster Chiropractic and schedule your consultation. Let us help you improve your quality of life and boost your health naturally. 239-332-2555. Visit www.kasterchiropractic.com to learn more.
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