Cortisone injections – are steroid shots 100% safe? Know the risks and decide for yourself

This is likely to be a controversial topic. I know a lot of people swear by cortisone injections. I’ve also seen some of those same people get a cortisone injection for something like shoulder pain, and while the shoulder pain magically disappears…they end up coming to me for numbness in their hands, or migraines, or a cervical spine issue.

The reason I believe a cortisone (or steroid) injection “works” at least temporarily is because included in the shot is an anesthetic. You’re anesthetizing the tissue at the site of the injection (which is usually the site of pain. To anesthetize means “to render senseless.” Your nerves can’t make sense of what’s happening in that part of your body anymore, so you no longer get that pain signal.

Regarding inflammation – this is your body’s natural response to injury or damage. Your body is trying to isolate an area to send fresh blood there. Fresh oxygenated blood is what your body uses to repair tissue at the cellular level. Getting a cortisone injection to reduce inflammation is like pouring water on your fire alarm expecting the fire to get put out. Besides that, and the real purpose of this video, there’s the question of safety.

Are these shots without any risks? Definitely not. That’s not opinion, it’s medical fact.

The Mayo Clinic lists the possible side effects of a cortisone injection as:

  • Nerve damage
  • Tendon weakening or rupture
  • Death of nearby bone
  • Inflammation
  • Joint infection
  • Temporary flare of pain and inflammation in the joint
  • And more

All I want is for you to know the risks and willingly take those risks. I want you to be informed. Many of my clients come to me after they get one or several cortisone injections and still have pain. At that point, can we be 100% certain their pain isn’t from the cortisone injection itself?

Don’t just take my word for it. Look this up. Talk to your doctor.

Ask your doc intelligent questions. And most of all, take 100% responsibility for your body, knowing if you do elect to undergo something like a cortisone injection and you DO experience side effects, that it was your choice to do that.

THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. This is my research, and this post and accompanying video are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

  • Lynsi K says:

    Hi Elisha. I assume you were referencing the “Mayo Clinic” in Rochester, MN. If that’s the case, then it’s pronounced “may-o”, not “my-o”. As a Minnesotan, I feel like I should give you a heads up on this in the case that you reference them again. 🙂 If I’m incorrect about your reference, however, disregard this message!

    • Ha! Thanks. Definitely good to know. Reminds me of when I lived in Oregon, and people would say “ore-GONE” and I would correct them to say “Ore-gen.”

  • Chris says:

    Whilst working withChuck Lubeck ( Rossiter guru) in Augusta in 2016, he showed me a ducument from the FDA which had banned “ cortisone” injections in most of your states, and here in the UK Doctors were forbidden from giving a dosage greater than three courses. Research is available these days which identify the “ wheatmeal” type of substance that consultants have to remove when carrying out operations on people subsequent to a course of cortisone, given that it is acidosic and therefore eats the tissue when administered and in the short term just masks the noreceptors from informing the brain that there is a problem I.e. pain. Given our access to information and our ability for knowledge acquisition, there no longer exists any real excuse for hurting people, if proper subjective and bio mechanical assessments are carried out , we should be able to identify causation of problems and thereby assist people to rehabilitate to increase their efficiency and quality of life.

  • Fran Sommerville says:

    I have 3 disks (L3, L4, L5) in the lower back that are pushing back and creating pain. Also have an annular tear in L5 in the lower back. Pain all the time.
    What are your thoughts on fascia release for this condition?
    Thanks – Fran

    • Hey Fran – absolutely, fascia work is THE best place to look for solutions to lower back pain! I’ve worked with clients who have bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, SI pain, slipped discs…all the classic western medical diagnoses for low back pain when there is something to “blame” for the pain (like a herniated disc) with GREAT results. The cause is usually somewhere in your leg fascia – quads, adductors, IT Bands. The quads would be my first place to look for you. (If you were in my office we’d be checking everything and “mapping” your fascia to find the imbalances, and then correct them).

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