A recent WebMD article outlined the indications and expectations of getting a cortisone shot.
Cortisone is a steroid used to treat inflammation. Often times when you see your doctor about pain in, and around, a joint, they will offer a steroid injection to help with the pain.
This is not a pain-reducing medication, it reduces inflammation; a side effect of which can be reduced pain.
It is important to consider that inflammation is not a bad thing; Inflammation is the result of your body's healing.
Of course, excessive inflammation can be both painful and harmful, but not all inflammation needs to be brought down.
A steroid injection is considered a low-invasive, or less-invasive, treatment for conditions such as:
- Back pain
Did you know that there is a non-invasive option?
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is not a new technology, but it is one you may not have heard of.
ESWT, or SWT, is a non-invasive treatment that involves the delivery of shock waves, also referred to as pressure waves, to injured soft tissue to reduce pain and promote healing.
Although the word “shock” is used, the treatment does not involve electrical shocks. The waves are actually sound waves delivered at specific levels that can be adjusted by the practitioner depending on your specific indications.
SWT works by mechanically triggering the healing response in the body, particularly in tendons, ligaments & fascia.
Research shows that following shockwave therapy, patients experience a reduction in pain, inflammation, and improved mobility.
Although the healing process in the body can take 6-12 months, SWT treatments are only indicated for 3-9 sessions (your practitioner will recommend the number of treatments based on your individual situation).
SWT is generally not painful but can be uncomfortable for acute conditions though it is not lasting, and pain relief is typical.
SWT has also been shown to stimulate vascular growth which can have profound effects on chronic conditions that may be decades old.
Considering the known potential side effects of a cortisone injection, if you are suffering from an acute injury and your doctor has ruled out breaks or tears that may require an invasive procedure, before agreeing to the shot, consult with a practitioner that offers shockwave therapy.