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Shoulder pain and cortisone injection

(23 Posts)
Itsnell Sun 16-Aug-20 10:35:10

Has anyone had a cortisone injection for shoulder problems?

I've had the shoulder pain almost as long as lockdown and have been having physio and exercises for about 3 months. it's really wearing me down as I can't do much, and the pain wakes me up so I'm not sleeping well.
MyHow long does it take for a cortisone injection to start working?

I had one last Tuesday for shoulder pain - Tendonitis or impingement. It's still not making any impact on the pain or difficulty moving it. How long does it take to start working.

Fennel Sun 16-Aug-20 11:41:23

You need to go back to your doctor or whoever it was that gave the injection. At a guess, it depends on the reason for the pain.
I had one for arthritic pain in my foot and it helped within about 24 hours. But had one for a painful shoulder after a fall and it didn't help at all.

Itsnell Sun 16-Aug-20 12:01:07

Thanks Fennel. I’m going to see how it is Tuesday - that will be a week since I had the injection and if I’m not feeling an improvement I’ll go back to the doctors.

CherryCezzy Sun 16-Aug-20 12:32:02

These type of, injections don't always work. I've had a few of these type of injections (various reasons) in my time with varying results.
I dislocated one shoulder in 2005 and physio' was the most effective treatment I had, though I had to have two courses. I don't have full movement but I rarely have pain. Some years later I injured the other shoulder and have had two injections in that, the first didn't work but the second did. I had to wait over a year between the two. I still have stiffness and occasionally pain but if I keep up with gentle exercises it helps.
Do go back to your GP, I had a referral to a consultant and clearer advice and support. I hope it does improve for you.

Jane43 Sun 16-Aug-20 13:31:48

DH was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder after paying to see a physiotherapist after the GP said it was probably arthritis. He found it very difficult to sleep at night so as well as giving him exercises she wrote to the GP asking for him to be referred for a cortisone injection. Almost straight away after the injection the pain was relieved so much that he was able to sleep and not take pain killers. The mobility in his arm is also gradually improving. As others have said it doesn’t always work but it did for him So hopefully it will help you.

Itsnell Sun 16-Aug-20 13:32:15

Thanks Cherry - it sounds like you have similar problems to me with shoulders. I’ve had four dislocated shoulders in my life plus a frozen shoulder and now this - which is my dominant arm.

I will go back to my doctor if there’s no improvement in the next few days.

Jane43 Sun 16-Aug-20 13:35:20

I should have said ‘it will help you eventually’. DH had an x ray immediately before having the injection as the NHS physio said it’s important that it is given in the right place.

SueDonim Sun 16-Aug-20 13:48:26

I had an extremely painful shoulder (from cleaning the windows - not doing that again! grin ) and months of physio did nothing.

I saw a specialist and she gave me an injection. It did nothing at all. I was referred for an injection guided by ultrasound so it went into exactly the right place and the relief was immeasurable! It actually felt worse for a day or so but then, the pain lifted, I stopped needing painkillers and could sleep again at night. Bliss! That was three years ago and I’ve not had a reoccurrence.

It also had the benefit of making me feel 20 years younger all over, as it relieved the arthritis I have. I wish I could have it more often. blush

So, I’d ask for a guided injection, if you just had a general one before.

Itsnell Sun 16-Aug-20 14:05:22

Thanks Jane and Sue, shoulder pain is an awful thing. When I had a frozen shoulder I had physio and he started by yanking my shoulder about and I let out a torrent of abuse at the physiotherapist- he wasn’t put off and he did eventually get my arm healed.

I don’t even know what I did to cause this shoulder problem

Evoha16 Sun 16-Aug-20 17:08:16

Years ago I had a cortisone/cortisol injection in my shoulder after an incident left me in pain - it took a few weeks to feel the benefit - I now have similar pain in my other shoulder after a rear end bump whilst stationary - online physio not working so may ask for ultrasound injection - which I hadn’t known existed - thanks to Gransnet and SueDonim - Such serendipity 👍🏿

Whitewavemark2 Sun 16-Aug-20 17:42:02

I fell about 18 months ago. Result shoulder cuff injury and very painful it was.

The worst was at night, but I googled etc and surrounded myself with pillows etc to get a nights sleep, or at least some sleep. It has taken over a year to recover and if I lay on it at night I still get woken with the pain.

But on the positive side very, very slowly it is healing. No other help except Mother Nature. I did go to the physio but by then it was so much better, she just gave me confidence to use my shoulder even it is hurt. Before that I was frightened I was harming it.

Evoha16 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:54:52

Whitewavemark that’s my problem too - physio has shown me exercises but they are v painful to carry out and I’m v concerned I may do more damage.

silverlining48 Sun 16-Aug-20 19:00:47

After a couple of steroid injections which didn’t help the pain or improve movement I had an operation in the end. The excess bone (impingement) was shaved off and after taking physio seriously afterwards I completely recovered full use of shoulder after a relatively short time.

Grannynannywanny Sun 16-Aug-20 19:06:49

I’ve had both my shoulders injected a few years apart for frozen shoulder problems. It gave me rapid relief after enduring many months of pain. One was done by my GP and the other by an nhs hospital physio.

I found the one by the physio to be most effective and brought complete relief in 24-48hrs. She went for a deep injection and really “hit the spot” I was pain free and able to move my shoulder freely within 48hrs. Her technique appeared more skilled than the method by my GP.

Fennel Sun 16-Aug-20 19:23:29

silverlining - I think I should have asked for an operation at the time,
But as you say , Mother Nature or whoever we believe takes her place helped to ease the pain. No pain now but permanent loss of strength on the right. My left side is taking over.

Eloethan Sun 16-Aug-20 19:30:52

I fell down the stairs, landed flat out and heavily and hurt my shoulder. I couldn't lift up my arm so couldn't hang out the washing, etc. This went on for several months until I went to my GP and was referred for MRI. I'd chipped a bone and had physio and an injection. This resolved the issue.

I think if pain is waking you up at night, you should return to your GP for further investigations.

Glenfinnan Mon 17-Aug-20 09:01:56

I had a cortisone injection for my painful shoulder and it worked almost instantly. Perhaps your injection was given in the wrong part of shoulder? My a doctor drew on my back/shoulder with a pen before I had the injection!

Itsnell Mon 17-Aug-20 09:18:11

Thanks for all your replies. It’s v useful to read your stories about your shoulder pain and the treatment You got and what worked and what didn’t.
I still haven't noticed any improvement and I had the infection last Tuesday afternoon, the pain actually got worse after I had it so I thought that was a good sign. I’ve rested my arm as I was told to do after the injection.

It gets you down, especially when we’ve got lockdown to contend with too

Itsnell Mon 17-Aug-20 09:27:22

Oops Injection not infection

Grannynannywanny Mon 17-Aug-20 09:57:15

I hope you find relief soon Itsnell. It makes you feel miserable with that constant pain, especially when you start the day exhausted from lack of sleep. The only other thing I could suggest in meantime is to experiment with a couple of extra pillows in bed to support your arm. I sleep on my side and obviously couldn’t lie on the painful shoulder. I found if I positioned a firm pillow at my good shoulder and rested the painful arm on it while on my side it it stopped the shoulder joint dropping forward and causing severe pain. Hope that makes sense!

Franbern Mon 17-Aug-20 10:00:31

I used to get severe shoulder pain mainly right shoulder. Probably (almost definitely) as a result of many years spotting and supporting gymnasts. When I did finally to to hospital with this, it very nicely clicked impressively when I was examined. I had previously had cortisone injection into my hope which had worked like a miracle.
Yes, the first time I had one in my shoulder it helped immensely, for a long time. However, when it was repeated it had lesser an effect - as did second one into hip.
I did have this into my thumbs and that was horrific, hurt incredibly as they did it - caused me server pain for next few days - and had no other effect.

Imakemistakeseveryday Tue 18-Aug-20 23:53:15

I had a frozen shoulder a few weeks after a fall and it was agony, I couldn't sleep, concentrate or manage without painkillers. I had two cortisone injections which made little difference and then had a procedure called Hydrodilation which involves an injection containing saline, steroid and local anaesthetic. It is done to stretch the capsule and although it was pretty uncomfortable when being performed it was miraculous! I was completely better in a very short time and I have not had a problem in the two years since although I make sure to do my physiotherapy as told. I do not know how widely this is available for frozen shoulder but I had a torn rotator cuff, frozen shoulder, tendonitis, bursitis and it saved me

Imakemistakeseveryday Tue 18-Aug-20 23:58:11

Oops! Just realised the procedure I had was actually called Hydrodilatation. Hope this helps you