Side Effects Of Cortisone Shot In Lower Back

Syringe and needle

Cortisone remains in a class of anti-inflammatory drugs called steroids. The New York Langone Medical Center reports that cortisone shorts are effective in lowering pain and swelling.

What is a Cortisone Shot?

Cortisone injections are used for treating lots of orthopedic problems consisting of arthritis, tendonitis and bursitis. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication, not a pain-killer.

Nevertheless, by reducing inflammation, pain typically subsides. Cortisone injections are extremely safe to perform. Side effects tend to be rare and minor. Nevertheless, there are a few possible side effects of a cortisone injection that patients need to understand about.

In addition, medical professionals often are not acutely knowledgeable about the side effects of cortisone as these tend to be restricted (they deal with in a short amount of time) and your doctor may not see these results as they have the tendency to take place long after the patient has left the workplace.

Many patients feel as though their doctor doesn’t appreciate these often substantial repercussions of cortisone. For that reason, it’s crucial that patients be aware of the possible side-effects of any medication they take, and inform their doctor if these take place.syringe and needle

Systemic Side Effects Cortisone Shot

Possible systemic side effects might bring side effects that affect the body as a whole. According to, these include changes in mood, sleep disruptions, wounds that recover slowly, sweating, headache, lightheadedness, nausea and stomach cramps. likewise reports that cortisone shots can cause “changes in shape or location of body fat (particularly in the arms, legs, face, neck, breasts and waist).”

Systemic side effects occur as a result of a small amount of the cortisone getting in the blood stream and impacting your whole body, not simply the location where the cortisone was given.

Systemic side effects of a regional injection of cortisone are unusual and normally minor. Unlike taking oral steroids, or having cortisone injected straight into the blood stream, only a small amount of a local injection is taken in by the body.

And given that the body actually produces cortisone naturally, many people do not experience systemic impacts. Those who do may experience:

  • Severe Systemc Side Effects reports these possible severe systemic side effects related to cortisone shots: disturbances of the digestive system, such as blood in the stool or coughing up blood; pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), which causes extreme pain in the upper stomach; psychological disruptions, such as depression, strange ideas and/or habits, or seizures; and significantly hypertension, which may cause anxiety, shallow breathing, irregular heart beat and a severe headache. advises looking for instant medical attention for these symptoms.

  • Elevated Blood Sugar

The most typical systemic response is seen in diabetic patients. Patients with diabetes should thoroughly monitor their blood sugar as cortisone can cause a temporary increase in their levels. Patients taking insulin ought to be especially mindful, checking their blood glucose typically and adjusting the insulin doses, if required.

  • Allergic Reaction

Allergic reactions occur when the body’s body immune system reacts wrongly to medications or other substances, such as pollen or dust. When the body has an allergy to medication that’s injected, such as cortisone shots, the results can be really severe. reports that a few of these side effects include difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, tongue, throat or lips. The allergy might cause a serious health risk. encourages seeking medical attention if signs of an allergy appear.

  • Facial Flushing

Patients might experience flushing sensation and inflammation of their face. This response is more typical in women and is seen in approximately 15 percent of patients. This can begin within a few hours of the injection and might last for a few days.

Local Side Effects of a Cortisone Injection

Local side effects are those that are only experienced in one area of the body. The local side effects of a cortisone injection are also rare.

  • Pain and Cortisone Flare Reaction

Some patients have discomfort after the injection and may experience an increase in pain 24 to 48 hours after being treated. This generally subsides rapidly and can be assisted with an ice pack and anti-inflammatory medication.

  • Infection

Whenever there is a break in the skin, like when a needle is used to administer cortisone, there is a possibility of infection. Your doctor will disinfect the skin to lessen the risk of infection.

  • Skin Pigment Changes

Patients with darker skin must likewise know that cortisone might cause the skin around the injection site to lighten. This is not harmful.

  • Loss of Fatty Tissue

High doses of cortisone can have detrimental impacts on some tissues in the body. When injected into fat, cortisone can result in a problem called fat atrophy. Fat atrophy causes loss of fat, which can result in dimpling of the skin or the weakening of fat. Patients who get cortisone injections in the heel to treat plantar fasciitis might find walking painful as fat that typically cushions their steps might thin out.

  • Tendon Rupture

Cortisone can also cause weakening of tendons. This is one reason your doctor may restrict the number of cortisone injections administered. Cortisone can likewise cause tendon rupture, as is the case when cortisone is injected for tendonitis.

How Safe are Cortisone Shots?

Cortisone injections are very safe, but they do still have potential problems. If you are concerned about having a cortisone shot, talk with your doctor. While cortisone is an effective treatment for numerous orthopedic conditions, there are usually other alternatives that can also be tried.

If you have had side-effects as a result of a previous cortisone injection, make certain to let your doctor know of the problem that happened and the intensity of the side-effect.

Good luck! Have a nice weekend!


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  1. Tara Jagtiani

    My doctor gave me two shots of the cortisone injection one for the buging disk and the other for the lower back pain in the left buttock area. It did help reduce the pain but now I have another problem, related to this cortisone injection, I have muscular pain in both the legs,much more in the right leg and also difficulty in walking. Have had vascular tests done which came out negative.
    Please help as I do not know which doctor I should see to get rid of this side effect from the injection. Will it go away without treatment or will it be permanent problem and get worse over time.