Clearcut Physiotherapy’s Guide to Steroid Injections
Clearcut Physiotherapy offers steroid injections as a part of our comprehensive care options. This patient information guide is designed to provide a clear understanding of steroid injections, their potential benefits, and potential side effects. We draw from trusted sources like Versus Arthritis for the most accurate information.
Understanding Steroid Injections Naturally occurring in our bodies, steroids work to reduce inflammation. These are different from anabolic steroids used by bodybuilders. Steroid injections are frequently recommended for conditions like inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various soft tissue ailments causing pain or inflammation. There are both short-acting and long-acting steroids. While short-acting ones offer quick relief, their effects are typically brief. In contrast, long-acting steroids may take longer to kick in but can provide relief for months.
The Injection Process At Clearcut Physiotherapy, our expert clinicians choose the best steroid and dose tailored to your condition. The injection, usually swift and straightforward, targets the inflamed area directly. To enhance precision, an ultrasound may be utilized during the process. If you have conditions like unstable blood pressure or blood sugar irregularities due to diabetes, a consultation with your GP might be required before the procedure.
After the Injection After receiving a local anaesthetic, some patients may feel numbness that could impact their ability to drive, so alternative transportation home is suggested. Post-injection, it’s advised to avoid intense activities for a few days. If the injection is near a tendon, refraining from heavy exercises for two to three weeks is recommended.
Will a Follow-up Injection be Necessary? Steroid injections offer a temporary window of pain relief, allowing patients to undergo physical therapy or find an alternative treatment regime. Once pain is better managed, the need for subsequent injections usually diminishes.
Potential Risks and Side Effects Steroid injections at Clearcut Physiotherapy are generally safe, but as with all treatments, there are potential side effects to consider. These range from temporary flare-ups of pain or skin changes at the injection site to more rare side effects such as joint infections or weight gain. It’s also crucial for those with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar post-injection and discuss any concerns with their GP.
Interactions with Other Medications Most medicines don’t conflict with steroid injections. However, if you’re on treatments for conditions like diabetes, cancer, or HIV, or if you’re taking blood thinners, it’s essential to inform your Clearcut therapist. They may need to coordinate with your GP or consultant before proceeding with the injection.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Steroid injections are not recommended for pregnant patients. If you’re breastfeeding, consult with our therapists for guidance.
Summary of Side Effects While serious side effects from steroid injections are uncommon, it’s essential to be informed. Potential issues range from infections, pain flare-ups, blood sugar fluctuations in diabetics, to rarer complications like blurred vision or joint damage. Post-injection, Clearcut Physiotherapy recommends staying for a brief observation period to monitor for any immediate adverse reactions.
Note: The content of this guide is influenced by the ‘Local Steroid Injections’ leaflet from Arthritis Research UK.