What You Should Know About Cortisone Shots/Injections
October 12, 2022
Anti-inflammatory use has been on the rise in athletes in recent years. Anti-inflammatories are a class of medications used to treat pain, fever, and other inflammation processes. Runners, in particular, may use these drugs to get rid of inflammation or exercise-related swellings in their bodies.
This article examines anti-inflammatory use in runners, particularly cortisone injections. It also discusses whether the injections are ideal or whether they have any harmful effects. Lastly, it highlights some of the alternatives to using cortisone injections. Keep reading to find out more!
What are Cortisone Shots/Injections?
A Cortisone injection is a corticosteroid and a synthetically produced version of what we produce, which is cortisol, as a response to different types of bodily stress. It is a naturally occurring hormone that has been synthesized for injection purposes.
In runners, cortisone shots help relieve pain and inflammation in a particular body area. A qualified medical practitioner will usually inject cortisone shots into joints — such as your knee, wrist, or ankle. Other areas include the hips, shoulders, and spine. The small joints in your arms or legs may also benefit from cortisone injections. Due to the injection's potential side effects, you can only get a limited number of shots in a year.
Inflammation as Part of Running Injuries
In runners, inflammation has been the major cause of pain resulting from running injuries. After a small injury from muscle overuse or any other body part, the body ambushes the bruised area with a rush of inflammatory cells. This leads to pain, stiffness, and soreness at the injury site.
Inflammation destroys one's healing process because it can cause secondary damage to the area that is already injured: to prevent this, most treatments are tailored to reduce inflammation. This includes using anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or cortisone injections.
Are Cortisone Injections the Solution?
Cortisone shots will help treat inflammation in joints, especially after an injury. A medical practitioner will inject the cortisone directly into the affected joint. The joints most affected are the elbows, shoulders, wrists, and hips.
Usually, cortisone shots are ideal when pain and inflammation fail to respond to typical treatments such as ice, stretching, and physical therapy. However, before getting this injection, experts recommend letting the body heal naturally. Most running injuries result from training errors, such as running too fast. Running strains your lower half's quadriceps, hamstrings, joints, ligaments, and other crucial muscles, putting you at risk of overuse injuries.
Depending on the injury, a qualified medical practitioner will determine whether cortisone is the perfect treatment for you. Even so, when used suitably, it can be a powerful drug to help you get rid of pain in the short run.
On Which Body Part Is Cortisone Harmful?
You should not use cortisone injections around tendons. This is because the injections can weaken and even tear them. For example, Runner's knee (patellofemoral pain) is primarily tendonitis, but it is easy to confuse it with a joint injury. However, most medical practitioners do ot use cortisone injections for this type of injury because it can debilitate the tendon and make it more susceptible to injury.
Other areas runners may be tempted to try cortisone shots is around the foot and ankle. Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis are two common running injuries but this type of treatment is not recommended as it may weaken the tendon. Rest, ice/heat, stretching and strengthening are the tried and true rehabilitation methods for these areas.
What are the Alternatives to Cortisone Injections?
While cortisone shots are effective in treating joint pain, they can weaken the surrounding tissue in the long run. But the good news is that a good training program is one of the first interventions to help ward off running-related injuries. Furthermore, having proper running shoes and awareness of the running surface are some tips that can help you stay safe when running.
If your pain worsens, it's a good idea to visit a medical practitioner for further examination.
Landice is Your One-Stop Shop for Training Equipment
A good training regimen helps you stay fit and reduces the risk of injuries. Also, running on a stable surface such as on a treadmill can help you avoid injury as well as help you in an injury recovery. Our ellipticals are also excellent alternatives as they can mimic the stride of running without the impact.
If you want to buy training equipment, look no further than Landice. We sell high-end treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes to cater to all your home and commercial fitness needs! Consumer Reports rate our treadmills as a top buy in its price category year-over-year. Buy your equipment now!