Ever had a cortisone injection that didn’t help with your joint pain? This is because it’s commonly over-prescribed and often prescribed for the wrong reason. Cortisone is actually an anti-inflammatory (not primarily a pain medicine) and the most common injection given for joint pain. Yet the most common reason for chronic joint pain is Osteoarthritis, a degenerative type of arthritis. In this condition, swelling and inflammation are often not the main reasons for pain… then why is the most popular treatment an anti-inflammatory?
Another good reason not to inject cortisone into a joint is because it erodes connective tissue. This adds to the permanent deterioration of the joint space. If most of the people who complain of joint pain do so because their joint is degenerating, perhaps it is negligent to recommend a treatment that would further cause them further degeneration faster. Most patients prefer to put off joint replacement surgery as long as possible, however each cortisone injection puts them one step closer.
Besides adding to permanent joint damage, corticosteroids also raise blood glucose levels and can be dangerous for diabetics. In pre-diabetics or undiagnosed diabetes, cortisone can easily be the catalyst that launches a full blown condition. These are reasons corticosteroids should be limited to no more than 2-3 times/year, however better if not used at all!
At Solutions, we highly discourage the use of corticosteroid injections into joints and are happy to offer natural treatment alternatives that are not only more effective but actually help improve the joint. Regenerative medicine injections address the cause of the pain by repairing damaged tissue and improving joint space. Compared with steroids that add to deterioration and eventually joint replacement, regenerative medicine moves the patient in the other direction.