Cortisone isthe steroid hormone released under the stressful situations, to soothe andmanage the inflammation of the body. Synthetic cortisone injections have thesame mechanism of action and are used to relieve the pain, caused by the swellingof the nerve roots, tendons, joints or muscles.
These injectionsare used to ease the pain in the back. There are three types of cortisoneinjections, used for different purposes: nerve root block, facet joint and epiduralsteroid injections.
Nerve rootblock injections are given into the area around the spinal nerve roots. They areusually given to patients suffering from the lower back problems.
Facet jointinjections are given into a facet joint at the back of vertebral bones andare usually recommended for neck pain.
Epidural steroidinjections are the most used injections for the back pain. These injections aregiven into the epidural space (area around the dura membranes, which covers thespine and nerve roots). Nerves for the shoulder and arms also travel through theepidural space, so when these nerves get swollen, patients suffer from theupper back, shoulder and also neck pain. Therefore, epidural steroid injectionsmight be also used to treat these conditions as well.
Procedure forthe epidural steroid injections requires the X-ray. Doctor will use the X rays toguide the needle through the patients’ back. First, doctor will cleanse the patient’sback and anesthetize it. Anesthetics will numb the area of the back and patientwon’t feel anything happening there. When the area becomes numb, doctorwill inject the needle with some dye to properly locate the epidural space andthen inject the cortisone dose. Usually, patients will stay at the doctors’watch for some 20 minutes, to make sure there are no problems because of theinjection. Some patients may feel as if the pain got worse, but this is justthe transitory effect. In other cases, patients complained about the tendernessat the injection spot.
Cortisone injectionsare not suitable for several groups of people, including: pregnant women andpeople with heart problems, systemic infections or blood related problems. Also,there is a problem with allergic reactions to cortisone and these patients mustn’tuse injections.
There areseveral different issues with cortisone injections for people that can usethem. First of all, there is no guarantee that it will work for you. Somepeople react to these injections very well, other experience no effect.
The effectis temporary and these injections don’t cure the condition, but ease the pain.Plus, the effect exists because synthetic cortisone destroys the swollentissue, which means that it damages your body in order to get the job done.
Long termusage of cortisone injections can cause weight gain, hypertension, and decreaseof bone density.