Coritsone Shots – Heal or Pain Relief

Will a cortisone shot (for tennis elbow) actually increase healing or simply provide temporary pain relief?

Been struggling with tennis elbow for 7 weeks. I haven’t touched a racquet in 6 weeks and stopped lifting weights 4 weeks ago. Started taking Aleve twice a day 5 days ago and plan to continue that for total of 14 days then see MD if no better. I was icing it 1-2 times a day for about 2 weeks but stopped after no improvement felt. Any thoughts?

6 thoughts on “Coritsone Shots – Heal or Pain Relief”

  1. As someone who regularly gets cortisone shots I can tell you they do nothing to heal the injury. What they will do is reduce inflammation in the area that gets the shot. The docs mix in some anesthetic into the shot as well, so that is why you get almost immediate pain relief. I’m in line to get a total shoulder replacement some time in the future, but till then I get a cortisone shot about every 4 months.
    Over the years I’ve had several docs do my injections, and they don’t all get the same results. What I’m trying to say is one doc’s location for the injection might be different from other docs, with different results.
    Just something to think about.
    They tell me the risk from cortisone shots is negligible, as the only real risk is infection from the shot itself.

    Hope this helps
    I had a bad case of tennis elbow years ago. Nothing I did seemed to help, even not playing for 6 months. Then someone told me to switch racquets. He said it didn’t matter much which racquet I switched to, just switching would change things. I went to a very flexible racquet and have not had any problems sence.

  2. It’s a tough injury. It takes a long time to recover. Cortisone injections may help relieve the pain, but it will not have any impact on healing. Time is the only thing that will help.

  3. Cortisone shots are only for pain relief… many athletes get these shots and then continue to play and injury themselves worse. A shot can make you feel like you never had the injury in the first place. Be very careful when getting the shots, you can still do cardio and resistance training, but keep the weight lifting and arm usage minimal.
    Definitely so see a doctor, and maybe even a specialist… you want to ensure you understand your injury and what is the best route to fix it.
    I recommend getting more than just one opinion, to ensure your health.

  4. cortisone will only help relieve the pain. it won’t actually heal it all that much, but you can always get a second opinion from another doctor

  5. Temp pain relief I’m afraid. The only real "cure" is to take about 6 months off or more from playing.

  6. In my experience cortisone should be avoided at all costs. After just one shot the muscle atrophy and thin skin caused me more damage. Just brushing against the area caused it to bleed, the skin was so thin. It took months to heal — I couldn’t use a bandaid because the skin would peel up with the tape! This is a well known side effect of cortisone shots..muscle atrophy. NO, do not do it!

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