Doctors administer corticosteroid shots to ease pain and inflammation in a particular part of the body, states Mayo Clinic. The injection is also given to confirm a diagnosis; for example, if the pain in the groin improves after an injection, then a patient has hip arthritis. It is also used alongside physical therapy to treat conditions such as rotator cuff syndrome. The preferred locations for the injections are the joints, tendons and the bursa.
Corticosteroid shots contain a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid medication, notes Mayo Clinic. They are given to relieve inflammation caused by different conditions, including knee osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, hip bursitis and rotator cuff tendinitis. Shots administered in the shoulder help to cure localized soft tissue inflammation such as tendonitis or bursitis, according to MedicineNet. Doctors use systemic corticosteroid injections to treat extensive conditions affecting the skin or joints, such as asthma, allergic reactions and rheumatoid arthritis.
The number of injections in a year is limited due to the possible side effects associated with this medication. While this injection may help some people, others may not get relief at all. The American Family Physician estimates that relief cannot last for more than two months, claims the Arthritis Foundation. The advantage of a corticosteroid injection is that the relief is more rapid and stronger than typical oral anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin.