Wellness & Education

Cortisone Shots: Pain Relief vs. Side Effects 

Shots of cortisone, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, bring many people tremendous relief from pain associated with gout, bursitis, arthritis, tendinitis and other joint issues. Unfortunately, cortisone can have serious side effects if too much is given within too short a time frame. It can cause damage to the cartilage, nerves, bones and tendons, as well as other side effects, such as making diabetes harder to control.  

When you have severe pain that responds well to cortisone (and not all joint pain does), it can be tempting to demand a shot whenever the pain comes back. Unfortunately, getting another cortisone shot may not always be the best option. If your healthcare provider tells you that you’ve reached your limit for the time being, he or she is only trying to protect you. Taking too much cortisone could lead to even more pain and complications in the long run.