Cortisone Injections: Myths Busted

Often times, we may recommend cortisone injections for your foot and ankle pain. Cortisone is a substance that occurs naturally in your body to regulate inflammation. When there is inflammation in the foot, using a little extra cortisone in the form of an injection will bring the inflammation down and in turn, relieve the pain.

There are a lot of rumors that I hear from patients about cortisone injections which I would like to address:

“It will make me fat” Cortisone is a type of steroid, and steroids when given in the form of a pill systemically can cause weight gain. However, the amount of cortisone that we inject is so small, it has little to no systemic effects.

“Cortisone isn’t good for you” There is a hormone in the body named cortisol which is a stress hormone and another type of steroid. Your body releases cortisol in response to stress which can have bad effects including weight gain, acne, and sleeping problems. Cortisone injections are completely different and it’s true, if you get many cortisone injections in the same spot it can have bad side effects. However, that’s why we always limit it to three in the same area to prevent any cumulative effects.

“They are extremely painful” When we do a cortisone injection in our practice, we use a very small needle-close to the smallest they make. Also, we use a numbing agent prior to injection so there is little to no pain. Most patients are very surprised at how they do not feel the injection!

In general, cortisone injections are a great treatment we can use in the office to make you feel better right away. However, rarely they are the sole treatment as they only deal with the inflammation. Additionally, if a patient does not want a cortisone injection, we have a multitude of other options that are pain-free, drug-free such as physiotherapy. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about cortisone injections in the future!

Clifton Ringwood