The Truth About Steroid Injections in London

One of the most common primary treatments offered by our practice in London an attempt to avoid more drastic procedures, including surgery, is steroid injections. As a primary treatment, they are often successful in treating the symptoms of a variety of musculoskeletal problems that cause pain and inflammation. However, there are a number of unrealistic concerns and fears about steroid injections, most of which are unfounded. For example, there is a belief that there is a limit of steroid injections one can have and if they have had one in a particular year they should wait until the next year before having another. Other unfounded fears are that steroids can destroy bones or cause weight gain. While there is a certain level of risk inherent in all medical procedures, it is important to know what benefits can be obtained from steroid injections and the true risks associated with such treatments.

What are steroid injections

Steroids are naturally produced in the human body by the adrenal glands. In times of stress, an increased amount of steroids is released into the bloodstream to help the body return to homeostasis. Steroid injections are synthetically produced and injected into the body with the main purpose of helping to reduce inflammation and pain in the area of distress. While a certain amount of the medication is absorbed by the body, most of it remains in the injected area where it helps to decrease inflammation and as a result, pain. Some of the more common synthetically produced steroid injections go by the names Cortisone and Kenalog.

London Steroid Injections

Some of the most common conditions in London in the musculoskeletal system that can be treated with steroid injections include tennis elbow, trigger fingers, bursitis of the shoulder, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and heel spurs.
While repeated injections in the same area can cause problems, there is no upper limit to the number of steroid injections one can have. One to three injections are normally recommended in an attempt to treat these conditions. If there is no relief, your doctor will discuss the possibility of further treatment such as surgery with you.

Although rare, it is important to understand that there is a certain amount of risk attached to treatment with synthetic steroids. The most common is the risk of a ‘steroid flare’. A steroid flare is a flare-up of pain that commonly occurs the night after receiving a steroid injection or the following day. The pain usually goes away by the second day.

As with any invasive type of treatment, infection is always a risk. Diabetics are particularly at risk as steroid injections can significantly increase their glucose levels. This increase will be dependent on the steroid dose and the particular patient’s sensitivity to the steroid medication. It is important that diabetic patients inform the physician about their condition before having a steroid injection.

A steroid injection in London is not as painful as people fear as it is administered via a very small-sized needle and a large percentage of the formula consists of a numbing medication like Marcaine or Lidocaine which makes it unnecessary for a numbing medication to be administered prior to injecting. The injection can take anywhere from one to ten seconds to administer, depending on the site and the dose, and numbness occurs almost immediately.

It may take several days and sometimes even weeks for the full effect of the medication to become evident, so you may need to be patient. However, it is important to inform the physician how you felt directly after the injection since should there be no significant relief of pain, there could be another underlying problem that should be investigated.