Corticosteriod Injections - The Evidence & More

20/02/2018

Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

Let’s discuss corticosteroid injections.

 

At the clinic, we are asked quite frequently what our thoughts are on injections. This article will shed some light and answer those questions.

A corticosteroid injection acts as an anti-inflammatory aid. It is generally prescribed in conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica to reduce the inflammation that is impacting the condition.

With reference to an article in 2017, the authors asked a few important questions:

  • Do corticosteroid injections reduce pain in patients with rotator cuff tendinosis 3 months after an injection?

    • The results found that corticosteroid injections can provide minimal temporary pain relief when compared to placebo injections. Most importantly, they found no differences 3 months after injection. Essentially, these injections cannot reverse the natural course of the injury. So, what’s the point, when you begin to consider the discomfort involved and cost.

  • Are multiple injections better than one single injection with respect to pain at 3 months?

    • Multiple injections are no more beneficial than a single injection! In fact, the more cortisone injections you have, the greater the acceleration of tendon degeneration.

 

Another interesting note that was brought up in the article was NNT (also known as Number Needed to Treat). NNT stands for how many people need to be treated to receive a mild benefit or improvement from the corticosteroid injection. In this article, they stated 1 in every 5 people will receive a mild analgesic benefit.

 

In conclusion, the results are not great or promising for injections. See below:

  • Multiple injections have no more benefit then one single corticosteroid injection

  • There is no difference at 3 months after receiving a corticosteroid injection

  • Finally, 1 in every 5 people will receive a mild analgesic benefit from an injection   

This finding and information can be used to gain a better understanding as to why conservative physiotherapy management is preferred. To find out more about how we can help improve your injury, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

Reference: On Request.

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