Do steroid injections work?

As a sports fan, when I hear “steroids” I think of Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire hitting mammoth home runs.

I don’t think of someone’s grandma.

But it’s not unusual for a doctor to recommend corticosteroid injections for the pain in grandma’s knees.

After all, it’s a quick and easy way to “do something,” especially for people who have arthritis that’s getting worse.

The idea is that corticosteroids reduce inflammation. And they say that injections also reduce enzymes that destroy tissue.

So, it’s supposed to stop pain now, and keep your knee from breaking down.

The injection itself, while painful at first, may actually relieve pressure by allowing for drainage.

So there could be fairly quick relief.

But long-term, are these injections helping… or harming?

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the news isn’t good.

Steroids do not relieve any more pain than a placebo “salt water” injection. And over time, they accelerate cartilage loss.

Yep. You’re making your knee worse while you’re trying to fix it. Trading less pain now for more pain later.

The researchers were blunt: the findings “do not support this treatment.”

So if a doctor suggests a steroid shot in your knee, you might want a second opinion.

God Bless,

Jeff Reagan
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance

P.S. I’ve been working on something that I think might help people with persistent joint problems… but it’s not ready yet. I’ll keep you posted on that.

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