Foot pain can become debilitating quite fast. And with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen providing little to no relief, a lot of people end up asking, “Should I get a cortisone injection for foot pain?”
In this post, I’m going to break down the benefits and risks of cortisone injections, and treatment plan considerations to know about. Let’s get into it.
What are the Benefits of an Injection for Foot Pain?
One of the biggest advantages of a cortisone shot is the direct introduction of a potent anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving drug into the affected tissues. For some people, relief is swift and felt within a few hours, while for others the pain, swelling, and stiffness subsides within a couple of days.
On average, you can expect 3 to 6 months of lessened pain in your foot.
What are the Possible Risks of an Injection for Foot Pain?
A single injection in your foot isn’t anything to worry about. It’s relatively safe. Cortisone shots only present serious problems when you receive several injections in the same area, within a short time frame. This increases your odds of developing complications such as:
- Joint infections
- Bone thinning
- Bone deterioration
- Nerve damage
- Weakening of the tendons
It’s for this reason that during your consultation, I’ll warn you about the number of injections you can safely get within a year.
What else Should you Know?
Cortisone shots should be understood as one element in your treatment plan. That’s because these injections are not designed to treat the underlying cause of your injury. They merely reduce whatever pain you may be feeling in your foot.
As a podiatrist, I can help assess and diagnose what’s wrong and develop a tailored treatment plan.
Typical treatment plans often include recommending you wear custom orthotics, limit or modify your lifestyle, and engage in physical therapy.
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Looking for more insight? Check out our previous posts:
- The Implications of Low Vitamin D Levels on Foot & Ankle Injuries
- Ganglion Cyst of the Foot and Ankle
- What are Orthotics & What Do They Do?
Disclaimer: Any information provided in this blog is not intended to replace medical advice given by qualified professionals.