What To Know About Steroid Injections at a Pain Management Clinic

A steroid injection is one of the treatments doctors prescribe at a pain management clinic. Artificial steroids are designed to mimic the steroids your body produces naturally. They have many uses, including reducing inflammation and managing pain. Here is more information about steroid injections for pain management:

How Steroid Injections Are Used

Steroids are anti-inflammatory medicines administered by healthcare professionals at a hospital, pain management clinic, or primary care facility. These drugs treat joint pain, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, sciatica, and more. Pain management centers use steroid injections to treat pain in different body parts. Epidural injections treat inflammation in the spinal canal, while knee or wrist injections target joint pain stemming from arthritis. Steroids can also be used to reduce post-surgery pain and inflammation. Popular steroid injections include hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, and triamcinolone.

How Steroid Injections Are Administered

Steroid injections are given in different ways, including intra-articular, intramuscular, epidural, and intravenous. Intra-articular injections go into a joint, while intramuscular injections go into a muscle. Epidural injections go into the spine, and intravenous go into the bloodstream. Your pain management doctor will determine the best way to administer your injections based on your health goals. The injection involves patient and site preparation, inserting a needle, injecting the medication, and removing the needle. Most patients can resume regular activity immediately after the injection, but doctors recommend resting for several minutes.

How Steroid Injections Work

Steroids work by mimicking the action of natural hormones produced in the adrenal glands. When injected into your joints or muscles, they can reduce redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness. Intravenous injections also reduce inflammation throughout the body and lower your body’s immune response. A reduced immune response can help treat multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions. Some steroid injections take a few days to provide relief, and others start working within hours. The effects of steroids can last from days to years.

Ideal Candidates for Steroid Injections

Steroid injections for pain management can be an effective treatment method for most people. During your initial consultation, your doctor will assess whether you are a good candidate for injections. Tell your doctor about recent injections, vaccinations, infections, medical conditions, allergic reactions, and current medications during this assessment. This information is used to avoid drug interactions, allergic reactions, and disease aggravation. Pain management doctors also use your medical history to determine the best injection type for your needs. 

Results & Risks of Steroid Injections

Steroid injections seek to reduce pain and inflammation, allowing you to participate in daily activities and physical therapy more comfortably. You can schedule future injections if the effects wear off before you complete your rehabilitation. Pain management doctors can also provide other treatment options if your pain returns. While steroid injections are nonsurgical, a few risks are associated with using a needle, like bleeding, infection, allergic reaction, and headache. After receiving your injections, talk to your doctor about your future treatment schedule and what you can do if negative side effects occur.

Steroid Injections Alongside Other Treatments

Pain management centers use steroid injections as a part of comprehensive treatment programs. Steroid injection treatment can complement analgesics, anti-inflammatory medications, supportive devices, and physical therapy sessions. A multi-faceted treatment approach is common for chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Steroid injections can also be used in isolation, like in the case of minor tendinitis. Your doctor can help you explore pain treatment options and determine how to integrate injections into your plan.

Find a Pain Management Clinic in Your Area

Steroid injections can help reduce different types of pain, including temporary and chronic pain. If you’re in pain, contact a doctor to get your symptoms diagnosed and identify the best treatment plan. Working with a local pain management clinic allows you to target and treat the source of pain instead of masking it. Your pain management doctor can recommend steroid injections, physical therapy, oral medication, surgery, and other methods to treat or manage your pain.