Steroid Injections Types, Benefits, And Side Effects

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

Steroid injections are used to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and tendonitis. Steroids are a synthetic version of cortisol, a vital hormone in your body that helps to reduce inflammation.

Steroid injections are a nonoperative pain management alternative that doctors offer to individuals who may not want or require surgery. A steroid hormone that the body naturally produces is similar to cortisone.

To treat illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and tennis elbow, cortisone injections are administered directly into the affected joint.

When a flare-up occurs, the joint pain does not respond to other therapies, or when other medications are not an option, cortisone injections are employed.

They reduce pain temporarily, typically for up to a month, but do not enhance joint function or reduce stiffness. Today, we will be looking at all about steroid injections.

Steroid injections, often known as corticosteroid injections or cortisone injections, are used to treat inflammation and joint discomfort.

If you are suffering from pain brought on by back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, or other types of arthritis, your doctor may advise getting steroid injections.

Typically, a cortisone injection is one component of a larger therapy strategy. Physical therapy and medication are frequently combined. Pain and joint inflammation may be treated with steroid injections.

You should inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking before receiving a steroid injection and cease taking any medications listed by your doctor at the appointed time.

The corticosteroid drug in the injection will reduce pain and inflammation, and it also contains an anesthetic to ease discomfort momentarily.

The injection contains both corticosteroid medicine to reduce pain and inflammation, and an anesthetic to reduce pain temporarily.

Types Of Steroid Injections

  • Hydrocortisone

    Injections of hydrocortisone are used to address the effects of low corticosteroid levels. Serious allergic responses are also treated with it.

    Lupus, multiple sclerosis, gastrointestinal disorders, and some types of arthritis are all treated with hydrocortisone injections.

    Other disorders that affect the skin, blood, eyes, thyroid, lungs, kidneys, and neurological system are also treated with hydrocortisone injection. The drug hydrocortisone injection belongs to the corticosteroid class of drugs.

  • Triamcinolone

    Triamcinolone is used to treat a wide range of illnesses, including those affecting the bone marrow, adrenal gland, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, and arthritis.

    It functions by calming a hyperactive immune system, reducing inflammation, or taking the place of cortisol that the body typically produces.

    The hormone cortisol is crucial to how the body reacts to stress, damage, and disease.

    This medication may also be used for other conditions. If you have any questions, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Methylprednisolone

    Methylprednisolone injection belongs to the corticosteroid drug class. Injections of methylprednisolone are used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.

    Methylprednisolone injection is used to treat lupus, swelling and fluid retention, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and gastroenteritis.

  • Dexamethasone

    For the treatment of severe allergic responses, dexamethasone injection is employed. It is used to treat certain forms of arthritis, edema, and gastrointestinal disorders.

    Additionally, diagnostic procedures employ dexamethasone injection. Dexamethasone injection also helps cure other illnesses by lowering redness and inflammation, and altering how the immune system functions.

Benefits Of Steroid Injections

The patient would primarily experience a reduction in discomfort and an improvement in function. Steroid injections frequently lessen joint inflammation, preserving the structure and functionality of the joint.

Compared to other steroid medicine types, local injections are typically administered and are less likely to have major adverse effects.

The use of oral steroids or higher doses of oral steroids, which could have more negative side effects, may be avoided with the aid of steroid injections.

Side Effects Of Steroid Injections

Steroid injections have some adverse effects like any other form of treatment. While most are minor or short-lived, some might be serious or persistent.

Before getting steroid injections, patients are recommended to talk with their doctors about any side effects or dangers they may be concerned about.

  1. Swelling And Pain

    Swelling, pain and inflammation may worsen for up to 48 hours after receiving a steroid injection.

    Your swelling and pain in the affected joint should then start to subside, although full recovery could take up to several months.

  1. Fat Atrophy

    A steroid injection may lead to the loss of fatty tissue in a specific region of the body, which results in scarring, pitting, and lumps formation.

    As the fatty tissue deteriorates, it may redistribute and highlight underlying structural elements, giving people with areas of fat atrophy a sunken appearance.

  1. Skin Discoloration

    Any change in your skin that deviates from the color of your skin naturally is referred to as skin discoloration. Steroid injections could lead to skin discolorations of red, purple, or pink, among other colors.

  1. Elevated Sugar

    Steroid injections may result in high glucose levels. When the body cannot produce enough insulin, hyperglycemia occurs as a result of too much sugar in the blood.

  1. Cartilage Loss

    A flexible tissue, known as cartilage, may be found all over the body. Steroid injections may cause cartilage damage.

    Although other joints, including the hips, ankles, and elbows may also be damaged, the knees are frequently involved.

    Tendon Injury: Steroid injections may cause tendon injury, sometimes referred to as tendinopathies. This occurs when there is an overload resulting in the tearing of tiny fibers.

  1. Allergic Reactions

    Steroid injections may cause skin allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, and itching, to name a few, among people.

    While not common, women may experience:

When To See A Doctor?

Following an epidural steroid injection, serious symptoms that necessitate rapid medical attention include:

  • A fever that is 102 degrees or above may indicate an infection
  • A dural puncture may be the cause of a severe headache that is worse while you are standing or sitting up than when you are lying down
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs which may be a sign of a nerve injury
  • When the local anesthetic and temporary numbness wear off or when there is a reduced or total loss of bladder or bowel control, this could signify a medical emergency

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor right at once. Any discomfort or unusual feelings should also be brought up with the doctor.


A variety of injuries and illnesses could be treated quickly with steroid injections. The injections operate by calming the immunological reaction and bringing down swelling.

There are adverse effects associated with steroid injections, and they are not appropriate for everyone. As a result, it’s crucial to talk with a doctor about the best course of action.

A minimally invasive technique known as a steroid injection could momentarily ease joint pain. It is unclear what causes joint discomfort, including arthritis, degeneration, and injury.

The process serves two objectives. To determine whether the pain is genuinely originating from the joint, it may first be utilized as a diagnostic test.

Second, it could be utilized as a remedy to reduce pain and inflammation brought on by a variety of diseases. Steroid joint injections are regarded as an appropriate nonsurgical treatment for some patients because they have few hazards.

Inserting the needle may result in rare dangers, such as hemorrhage, headaches, allergic response, infection, and nerve injury.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *