Corticosteroids injected into a joint can reduce damage caused by synovitis inflammation. But…. they don’t always work 1, at best they are a short term solution. Unfortunately, cortisone also has significant side effects including:
- Suppressing the immune system 2
- Compromises tendon healing 3
- Increases bone loss and death 4
- Impacts blood glucose and insulin sensitivity 5
- Aggravation of symptoms 4
- Reduces and kills stem cells 1
Maybe you don’t want an injection, possibly you cannot easily access and injection, possibly you have had an injection and it failed. There are other options. Acupuncture is one of the most widely used therapies for treating painful conditions. It reduces inflammation and joints naturally while resorting and increasing circulation to the damaged area promoting the healing process. Its also important treat the cause of pain, except for direct trauma, football injury for example, an acupuncturist may identify weakness in one of the muscles that control the joint causing changes in function and movement. Treatments may include acupuncture, electro acupuncture and physical exercise.
As with any illness or injury the most effective results are usually achieved by acupuncture in the acute stage – as soon as possible. However, it is never too late to begin the journey of healing.
- Abate M, Salini V, Schiavone C, Andia I. Clinical benefits and drawbacks of local corticosteroids injections in tendinopathies. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. 2017;16(3):341-349. doi:10.1080/14740338.2017.1276561
- Cain DW, Cidlowski JA. Immune regulation by glucocorticoids. Nat Rev Immunol. 2017;17(4):233-247. doi:10.1038/nri.2017.1
- Puzzitiello RN, Patel BH, Nwachukwu BU, Allen AA, Forsythe B, Salzler MJ. Adverse Impact of Corticosteroid Injection on Rotator Cuff Tendon Health and Repair: A Systematic Review. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery. 2020;36(5):1468-1475. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2019.12.006
- Kompel AJ, Roemer FW, Murakami AM, Diaz LE, Crema MD, Guermazi A. Intra-articular Corticosteroid Injections in the Hip and Knee: Perhaps Not as Safe as We Thought? Radiology. 2019;293(3):656-663. doi:10.1148/radiol.2019190341
- Even JL, Crosby CG, Song Y, McGirt MJ, Devin CJ. Effects of Epidural Steroid Injections on Blood Glucose Levels in Patients With Diabetes Mellitus. Spine. 2012;37(1):E46. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e31821fd21f