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Treating Your Shoulder Pain With Cortisone Injections

Treating Your Shoulder Pain With Cortisone Injections

Corticosteroid injections are a crucial aspect of therapy for shoulder problems. They relieve inflammation and enable you to move without pain. They may even lessen the need for surgery when used with an active rehabilitation program.

If you have shoulder pain, it’s wise to see an orthopedic expert like board-certified orthopedic shoulder and sports medicine surgeon, Matthew Pifer, MD. He and our Santa Barbara, California team use the highest standards in orthopedic medicine to carefully and thoroughly evaluate your injury and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. If you’re an athlete, the goal of your treatment plan is to help you return to sport as quickly and safely as possible. 

Cortisone injections are one of the treatments Dr. Pifer employs to manage shoulder pain and help you recover. This highly effective anti-inflammatory drug diminishes pain and swelling. Here’s how.

Cortisone mimics the effects of cortisol

Cortisone is a steroid that mimics the effects of cortisol, a hormone the body produces naturally. In the body, cortisone has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. This makes it useful in temporarily relieving pain in damaged joints, muscles, and tendons. 

When injected directly into damaged tissues, cortisone relieves inflammation and discomfort and improves joint function. It should be mentioned that the shots are not pain relievers themselves. Cortisone helps to reduce inflammation, which in turn helps to relieve pain.

We employ ultrasound imaging, which allows us to see the tissue on a monitor and do a more precise injection. Many people are pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the process.

Cortisone injections provide fast pain relief

Cortisone injections work within 3 to 5 days, and while individual results vary, most patients obtain pain relief for several weeks or months. If your shoulder discomfort returns after a few weeks or months, we can schedule you for another injection. 

Patients should not have more than three shots each year, but you can discuss your options with Dr. Pifer and learn which therapies are best for your condition.

Cortisone injections allow you to engage in rehab exercises

While cortisone injections are an integral part of treating various shoulder issues, they aren’t used alone. Instead, cortisone injections are part of a comprehensive treatment program. 

Cortisone shots provide enough relief to allow you to engage in pain-free rehabilitation exercises that will strengthen the shoulder joint and help the joint to heal. Cortisone injections improve joint motion and function so that you can perform the exercises safely and comfortably.

More benefits of cortisone injections

Aside from what we’ve already discussed, here are more benefits of cortisone injections:

No general anesthesia required: A modest amount of numbing spray is administered to the region. Ultrasound imaging guides the injection and ensures that it’s delivered to the correct location.

Fewer side effects: In contrast to oral drugs, therapeutic injections have fewer negative effects. 

Treats various shoulder issues: Shoulder injections can be used to treat a variety of shoulder issues, including bursitis and tendonitis. 

To find out if cortisone injections are right for you, contact our Santa Barbara office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pifer or request a telemedicine appointment online using the webform here.

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