So you went to the doctor presenting with pain. You were lead down a path which involved getting an ultrasound or an MRI and an inflamed tendon or bursa was found. A simple solution to this was suggested – a cortisone injection. Where you’ll receive a quick injection which will act as a strong anti-inflammatory and reduce the pain immediately.
Sounds too good to be true right? Well it probably is..
Cortisone injections are and have been used for many years to help with musculoskeletal injuries such as:
- Bursitis in the shoulder and hip
- Tennis elbow
- Golfers elbow
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Plantar fasciitis
So, we know that this injection DOES have a great effect in helping reduce pain, however there are several studies which have shown it can also reduce tendon strength and also reduce rates of full recover at 6 month and 12 month follow ups.
We also know that having a cortisone injection to help pain settle DOES NOT address the cause of the inflammation in the first place, meaning that there is no such thing as quick injection to fix your concern.
We do however have a need for these injections as another measure to help. If pain is restricting progression and inflammation has not settled after 8-12 weeks of a conservative approach, then in some cases the injection can be helpful.
After this however, compliance with a rehab program is vital in order to address the cause of the concern in the first place.
So I guess what I’m saying is. Try Physiotherapy first!
B. Exercise Physiology