FAQ020: Why can I only get a cortisone shot once every 3 months?

Cortisone: the good, the bad, the every 3 months

In our past video, we talked about what cortisone shots are and why we use them as part of our medical management when we are in pain. Often times however, these shots are a short term solution. For some people the pain is relieved  for 6 months, for others its only a couple of weeks. So I often get asked the question, “If the shot helped with the pain but it only lasts a month, why can’t I just get another one?!”

The Side Effects

The reasons for this are the effects that the corticosteroid can have on your body. Taking steroids for long periods of time (especially concentrated doses like in the cortisone shot), can cause issues with the bones and tendons around the injection site. If you’re already in pain, the last thing you want if for there to be a complication that can make the pain even worse or prolonged. Things like weakening of the tendons or osteoporosis are side effects that doctors need to watch out for when prescribing cortisone.

In this video, we talk about the rationale and the side effects of taking cortisone shots too often. As much as we want to alleviate the pain, we have to make sure that we are doing so in a safe and effective manner. For some, these shots work wonderfully, for others the pain decreases are short lived. Talking to your doctor can set the right plan for you!

Have you seen our video about what cortisone shots are? Check it out here!

Christina Prevett

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