This article will take you through the fascinating science of cortisone injections. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory drug that is injected into joints to alleviate pain. Initially this drug was used by athletes to treat injuries, but now it’s more commonly prescribed for arthritis or bone spurs. Cortisone injections are very effective at preventing inflammation and reducing pain for people with chronic joint conditions like arthritis or rheumatism.
We’ll go over what happens when you receive the injection, why the medicine is used, how it works, and what risks are involved with getting a cortisone injection.
What Happens During a Cortisone Injection?
So, you’ve decided to get a cortisone injection. But what will happen when you get it? How does it work? And what can go wrong? These are all good questions that we’ll answer in this article. Here’s a quick primer for what happens during a cortisone injection:
The doctor will clean the skin around your joint. This is called an incision and is used to access the joint. The doctor will inject the steroid hormone, cortisone, directly into your joint(s). You will not feel this injection directly because it goes straight into the bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier. This is a naturally occurring barrier that prevents substances from getting into the brain from the bloodstream. The steroid hormone will travel through the bloodstream and reduce inflammation by stopping your body from producing inflammatory molecules. The cortisone injection site will be covered with a bandage and you should feel better within a few days.
What is Cortisone?
Cortisone (also known as corticosteroid) is an anti-inflammatory drug that reduces inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory chemicals in your body, particularly at joints affected by arthritis or rheumatism. It works in very much the same way as over-the-counter anti-arthritis painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
How Does Cortisone Work?
Cortisone is a steroid hormone that was initially produced in the adrenal glands. It could be considered the body’s natural anti-inflammatory. Cortisone is produced when your body experiences inflammation and it triggers the immune system to produce inflammatory chemicals to heal and protect the area. The problem is, when you have arthritis and other joint conditions, this inflammation becomes chronic because there’s not enough room for everything in your joint. That’s where cortisone comes in to help reduce inflammation and pain by decreasing the amount of these inflammatory chemical molecules being produced. This allows your joints to function more smoothly with less pain or swelling.
The anti-inflammatory powers of cortisone were first discovered by scientists studying animals. They found that animals that were injected with cortisone experienced less swelling and pain than the animals that weren’t. Scientists also noticed that injecting them with other anti-inflammatory drugs didn’t have the same effect as injecting them with cortisone, further confirming its effectiveness for humans.
Why Are Cortisone Injections Used?
Cortisone is effective at treating several joint conditions related to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or general joint inflammation. It can be used to treat any kind of inflammatory condition, not just joints. So although the medicine is commonly used for joints, it’s important to know that there are many different conditions it can be used for.
What Risks Are Involved with Cortisone Injections?
The most common risks of cortisone injections are infections and allergic reactions. There are slight chances of infection occurring; however, it can be avoided by keeping your injection site clean and keeping the bandage on until it falls off. Allergic reactions to cortisone injections are very rare but can also be prevented. Reactions happen because some people’s bodies don’t tolerate cortisone well; however, these side effects can be treated if they do occur.