How Cortisone Injections help with Inflammation Problems

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Cortisone is a naturally occurring antiinflammatory hormone made of cholesterol and produced by your own body. Cortisone is produced in the adrenal glands which lie right above your kidneys. Your body produces a set amount of cortisone every day.

Corisone injections (glucocorticoid) are steroid medication that is used to decrease inflammation, pain and stiffness locally and to decrease systemic inflammation throughout the body. Corticosteroids (steroid medication) are used when the chemicals secreted from the adrenal glands are not enough to decrease the inflammation produced by the condition "attacking" your body. Cortisone can be given in large concentrations with little or no side effects. 

The most common side effect of cortisone injections is a steroid flare. A steroid flair consists of increased pain after an injection with steroids that lasts for a day or two before getting better. A steroid flair also includes symptoms of swelling and stiffness in the area where a steroid injection is given.

Cortisone injections are used for different types of inflammation problems. Here's a look at how cortisone injections help with inflammation problems:

Local injections:

Local injection are given in the joints, tendons or directly into any area with pain, swelling and stiffness. Local injections of cortisone help decrease inflammation and pain so the patient can move the area more freely. Injections given locally also help to decrease symptoms while finding the underlying problem so that it may be fixed.

Local steroid injections relieve pain and inflammations in conditions such as arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis. They are also given to help relieve the symptoms of sciatica and other painful conditions where pain may be localized.

Cortisone injections are highly effective. They can be given in high concentrations, locally, with little to no side effects. Cortisone treatment by injection can be a permanent cure for the condition being treated.

Systemic injections:

Systemic injections are used for swelling and inflammation that is widespread in the body, such as in allergies and acute allergic reactions, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Systemic injections are used to treat the symptoms of inflammation so that the physician can diagnose and treat the underlying condition.

Injections for treatment of systemic conditions are usually given in the muscle, but can also be given in I.V. form for serious inflammation that requires hospitalization. For diseases such as asthma and bronchitis requiring steroid treatment, the medication is commonly given by mouth.

Systemic steroids travel throughout the body to various body sites. Some of the more common side effects of systemic steroids are increased appetite and weight gain, muscle weakness, facial swelling "moon face", insomnia and a lower resistance to infection.

Cortisone injections are an effective treatment for inflammation and the pain and stiffness that it causes. Whether injected into a joint, the bursa or into the bloodstream, cortisone helps decrease symptoms so that the underlying condition can then be treated.

More about this author: Chelsea Padget

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