Corticosteroid Side Effects
Big Risks
Small Benefit

Injected Corticosteroid Side Effects make me wonder if the risks are worth the benefit.

Injected Corticosteroids can cause side effects not only at the site of the injection, but near it too.

Possible Corticosteroid Side Effects (from injections of corticosteroid) include:

  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Color loss in the skin
  • Shrinkage of soft tissue
  • Actual (and severe) damage to nerve and/or the tendon when the needle penetrates it.

It is a sharp metal object, after all. If your tendon is already injured, and you stick a sharp metal object into it.....

As I said on the Corticosteroid Injections page, the fluid being injected is not a magical cure agent. It has its downsides.

Due to common knowledge of corticosteroid use and corticosteroid side effects, doctors usually limit (hopefully they do) injections to no more than three or four a year.

I think about it like this: If shots worked, a shot or two would do the trick.

But needing three or four just points to "Let's do it again and hope it works."

If you are limited to 3-4 a year, it is because there is significant risk involved, and doctors are trying to balance risk with benefit.

And if injections can't cure you, are they worth -any- risk?

I mean, if you get a corticosteroid injection for any kind of Tendonitis like, say:

If the shots at best will temporarily reduce the pain to some degree, won't reverse the tendonitis dynamic, won't heal you, very well -could- increase your pain (a lot) or cause you physical damage, does it sound like a good idea?

Corticosteroid Side Effects

Complications from shots can be serious.

For instance, if the shot lets bacteria in and you get an infection, you can get a high fever, red swollen skin, and fluid draining from the needle wound.

If the shot was given into a joint and a resulting infection is not dealt with quickly enough, the joint itself can be permanently damaged.

Getting a few Corticosteroid shots won't likely give you the Corticosteroid side effects of more long term usage, the volume and longevity of intake that people using oral, inhaled, and/or topical applications are at risk of....

  • weight gain
  • fluid retention
  • thinning (and weakening)of the skin
  • lesions
  • acne
  • glaucoma, mood swings, increased blood pressure, loss of calcium from bones (osteoporosis), Menstrual irregularities, suppressed adrenal gland hormone production, easy bruising, and slower wound healing.

Interesting how a product that can cause 'easy bruising and slower wound healing' is routinely given in hopes that it will somehow help your injury.

If you do get a shot(s), you basically only have to worry about side effects near the site of injection, as opposed to the systemic side effects from pills, inhalers, and creams. It is unlikely you will be exposed to enough steroid to cause systemic side effects.

Keep in mind that every little bit has an effect on your body, and every body is different.

I suggest you keep your body as free from ineffective shots as possible, and you will keep your body as free from Corticosteroid Side Effects as possible.

Additionally,  corticosteroids inhibit calcium absorption, impair bone formation, and accelerate bone breakdown.

That's less of an issue for tendonitis compared to bone, but tendon makes use of calcium too, and any inhibition or impairment is not a good thing.  

We want tendons getting stronger, not getting weaker as a corticosteroid side effect.

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