Cortisone shots are commonly used to treat inflammation and pain in the shoulders, back, hands, hips and knees.  Did you know they can also be used for the FEET?  A cortisone shot is an injection of a medicine that treats inflammation and relieves pain.  It is a manufactured corticosteroid that closely resembles a naturally occurring hormone in the body known as cortisol.  Corticosteroids are not to be mistaken for anabolic steroids which are widely frowned upon in sports due to their performance enhancing ability.

How does cortisone treat inflammation and pain?

If you suffer from heel pain or plantar fasciitis, pain in your big toe joint or have been diagnosed with a neuroma, a cortisone injection may be a viable treatment option for you! All three of these ailments can be successfully treated with a cortisone shot with the same mechanism of action as one in your knee – it decreases inflammation and offers a localized relief from pain. This is accomplished by delivering the cortisone directly to the site of concern by injection. In doing this, it works faster and more effectively than an oral anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen. Taking a pill to treat pain in the foot isn’t always successful because it must travel throughout the body with only a fraction of it actually reaching the foot. Cortisone injections are usually a mixture of the corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. The local anesthetic offers immediate pain relief, numbing the area for a few hours afterwards.

Is a cortisone Injection right for you?

A cortisone injection can significantly reduce localized inflammation anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months. It is a great adjunct to other treatments like custom foot orthotics, as it allows damaged tissue to heal. Most people are good candidates for a cortisone injection into the foot, except for children, those with an allergy to cortisone or local anesthetic, or if they’re already taking corticosteroids to treat another issue. There are minor risks with these injections, such as infection, bruising, numbness, a temporary increase in blood glucose levels in people who have diabetes and plantar fascial/tendon rupture. A cortisone “flare” is a possibility but only results in an increase in pain and inflammation for approximately 48 hours following the treatment. If this happens, rest, ice and elevation can help. It’s important to remember, after a cortisone injection, rest is best! It’s a good idea to try to stay off your foot for 24 hours following an injection and refrain from strenuous activity and exercise for a few days. Resting is crucial to achieving an effective reduction in inflammation and pain. If another cortisone shot is needed to offer relief, you must wait at least 6 weeks after your last one. Generally, a maximum of 3-4 injections per year is advised and considered safe.

Come see us!

If you are unsure as to whether cortisone is safe for you, it is best to ask your primary care professional or one of BioPed’s lower limb clinicians. Cortisone injections are offered at select BioPed clinics, where Chiropody services are provided. To find your nearest location, or to request an appointment today, visit www.bioped.com/locations. For more information, contact your local clinic today.