Steroid injections are a medical procedure in which a corticosteroid is injected into a specific area of the body to reduce inflammation and pain. Steroid injections can be administered in the
arm, neck, back, buttock, leg, or any other region with chronic pain. These injections are commonly used in orthopedics to treat issues such as arthritis, fractures, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and an inflamed sacroiliac joint.
Keep reading to find out whether a steroid injection is right for you and where you can find steroid injections near you.
What Is in a Steroid Injection?
A steroid injection typically contains a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic. Corticosteroid is an anti-inflammatory medication that reduces inflammation and swelling in the targeted area.
The local anesthetic is included in the injection to help numb the area and minimize discomfort during the injection. The anesthetic immediately reduces pain levels, while the steroid medication starts to work in a matter of days.
The effects of a steroid injection can last up to six months, depending on factors such as the patient’s overall condition and how well he or she commits to physical therapy.
Step-By-Step Guide to the Steroid Injection Process:
1. Consultation with a Healthcare Provider
The first step in receiving a steroid injection is to consult with a healthcare provider, such as an orthopedic surgeon or pain management specialist. The provider will evaluate the patient’s medical history and current condition to determine if a steroid injection is appropriate. Patients with diabetes, bleeding disorders, or osteoporosis are typically not good candidates for steroid injections.
2. Pre-Injection Preparation
Once it is decided that a steroid injection is appropriate, the provider will give the patient instructions on how to prepare for the injection. This may include stopping certain medications a few days before the procedure, like over-the-counter pain relievers.
3. Steroid Injection Procedure
The injection site will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and a local anesthetic may be used to numb the area, such as lidocaine. The healthcare provider will then use a syringe to inject the steroid medication into the targeted area.
4. Post-Injection Care
After the injection, the healthcare provider will give the patient instructions on how to care for the injection site and what to expect in the coming days. This may include resting for the first 24 hours, avoiding strenuous activity, applying ice to the area for pain relief, and monitoring for any signs of infection.
Steroid injection side effects can happen, such as allergic reaction, local bleeding, or infection. If you get steroid injections less than every three or four months, most people do not experience side effects.
5. Follow-Up Appointment
The patient will typically have a follow-up appointment with their healthcare provider to evaluate the effectiveness of the injection and decide if additional treatment is necessary. It’s important to discuss any concerns or questions about steroid injections with your healthcare provider before undergoing the procedure.
How Often Do You Need Steroid Injections?
The frequency of steroid injections for orthopedic conditions depends on the specific condition being treated, the severity of the symptoms, and the patient’s response to treatment. In general, steroid injections are not intended to be a long-term solution for managing orthopedic conditions.
The goal of treatment is typically to provide short-term relief of symptoms and to allow the patient to engage in physical therapy or other treatments that may help to address the underlying cause of the condition. It is not recommended to have corticosteroid injections more than once every three or four months, as the risks increase with more frequent use.
For conditions such as arthritis and herniated discs, steroid injections can provide relief for three to six months. Your doctor will help you with prolonging the results of treatment.
Steroid Injections Near Me in Rochester Hills, MI
Dr. Bradley D. Ahlgren at Ahlgren Spine is a board-certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who focuses on treatments for pain related to spine issues. He has over 25 years of experience treating conditions like degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and more. Dr. Ahlgren prescribes comprehensive treatment plans, which may include steroid injections from a pain management specialist.
To book an appointment with Dr. Ahlgren, call our office today at (248) 215-8080 or use our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back to your life pain-free!