Steroid Injections- Uses, Types, Benefits, and Side Effects
Steroid injections, also known as corticosteroid injections, are the anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat various adverse health conditions in the human body. The injections can also be effectively used to treat arthritis, joint pains, Sciatica, and many more. They are similar to a natural human body hormone called cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands.
But, as these injections are different from the regular injection-induced into the body for fever, cough, or cold, they cannot be done by a regular medical practitioner. Only an experienced healthcare professional will know how to inject steroids into the human body based on the body condition.
How are steroid injections therapy given?
Steroid injections are available only in the steroid clinics with specialist doctors who have required professional degrees or the certificate to induce them into the body of any individual body.
There are different ways to inject steroids or cortisone shots. Some of them include
- An intra-articular injection injected into a joint
- An intramuscular injection injected into a muscle
- An epidural injection injected into the spine
- An intravenous injection injected into the blood
A few days after the injection, you will be able to observe them working. In some cases, they also take only a few hours to show the result after being inducted into the injection site. It depends on the reason you are using the cortisone injections for. If you have them relieve your pain, the steroids might contain a local anesthetic that provides immediate pain relief. This relief might last for a few hours after the injections are given.
What are the different types of Steroid Injections?
The steroid injections fall into three different categories. They are the articular injections, “trigger point” injections, and epidural steroid injections. Below are the details on how each of these three is used.
Articular or joint injections are used to enhance the joint fluid or blood. They are usually induced to the shoulder, knee, ankle, and small joints of the hand and foot. Once the first injection is done, other booster injections are caused 2 to 4 weeks later. Many doctors suggest a dose of 2-3 articular steroids can be appropriate to reduce the joint pains of the patients.
As the name suggests, trigger point injections induce the medicine directly into the steroid injection sites or trigger points. These points can be focal areas of muscle spasms located in the shoulder and upper back areas.
An epidural steroid injection is the following type of steroid injection. It is an injection injected inside the bony column of the spine surrounding the dura. These are the simplest steroids and are usually done several inches from the spinal cord. These injections come with no potential side effects except minor ones like a headache. There are some special ones like the cervical epidural injections, which have to be handled with a lot of effort. Such injections can be injected only by high experienced steroid injections clinics. These injections are helpful to treat conditions like Sciatica, arthritis, degenerative disc problems, and spinal stenosis.
What are the benefits of steroid injections therapy?
Steroid injections can treat many health conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Gout, Sciatica, Back pain. As said above, steroids work the best to reduce the inflammation that some of these diseases cause in the joints. Below is a brief of these diseased.
Rheumatoid arthritis, also referred to as permanently inflamed joints, can affect various body parts like joints, skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Any human is said to be experiencing this condition when their immune system attacks on the body tissues.
Steroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Steroids help suppress the body’s immune system so that it will no longer be able to attack muscles. Some of the common steroids used to treat RA include dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, and prednisone.
Gout is a type of arthritis because of the formation of sharp crystals because of the excess amount of uric acid present in the human body’s blood. The condition usually occurs in the big toe. There are also chances to occur in the knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist, or elbow.
Steroids for Gout
Corticosteroids can be induced as injections into the affected Gout areas. Intra-articular steroids can be used if one or two joints are affected, and the treating physician is proficient in injecting those joints. Oral corticosteroids can be used starting at 30-40 mg regular dose tapering over 10-14 days.
Sciatica refers to the pain caused in the lower back of a human body. The pain radiates along the sciatic nerve path, which elongates from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.
Steroids for Sciatica
Oral steroids like prednisone can be used to treat Sciatica. Patients who have used steroids found an improvement three weeks after the steroids are injected into the body. With steroids, patients need not opt for any surgery for Sciatica.
This is the detailed information you need to know before you get any steroid mentioned for various health conditions. Make sure you tell your doctors about the current and previous medication you had to know if there can be any potential effects of the steroids.