Can Cortisone Injection Therapy Help My Joint Pain?

Whether it’s in your hands, feet, or another part of the body, living joint pain and inflammation can be debilitating. Our providers at OALI regularly discuss this concern with patients, as more than 70 percent adults in the United States report dealing with joint pain at some point in their lives, according to the University of Michigan. We often recommend cortisone injection therapy to manage joint pain, reduce inflammation, and get patients back to their daily lives.

Cortisone injection therapy combines injectable steroids and local anesthetic medications that target the affected areas. This type of therapy quickly reduces swelling and inflammation. In addition to joint pain caused by a past injury or osteoarthritis, cortisone injections are a first-line approach to managing pain associated with conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and many others.

How does cortisone work on the joint?

Cortisone is a type of corticosteroid that helps reduce inflammation. This type of therapy combines steroids and local anesthetic to reduce that swelling and relieve pain within a few days of the injection. It is important to know that cortisone is not the same type of steroid, called anabolic steroids, used in bodybuilders or athletes. Cortisone does not contribute to muscle mass growth.

Cortisone is injected directly into the affected area with a thin needle. We numb the injection spot to minimize pain, and most patients report feeling only a tiny “pinch” during the treatment. Some swelling and minor bruising could be expected.

Can I use cortisone injection therapy for chronic joint pain?

While cortisone injections are an effective way to manage pain in the short term, we do not always recommend them as a long-term solution. Like every medical treatment, cortisone injection therapy has potential side effects, such as the risk of infection or osteoporosis (bone loss). Your care team at OALI will closely monitor pain levels and your progress over time to evaluate if a different long-term treatment might be necessary to manage your joint pain.

During your initial appointment, your provider will review your medical history and discuss how joint pain affects you and if cortisone injection therapy is the right treatment option for you. Joint pain can severely impact your quality of life, but it isn’t a condition you have to manage alone. Schedule your appointment at one of our eight Long Island locations by calling 631-689-6698 or visit us online at

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