27 Mar Hip injections – Why They’re NOT The Answer to Your Pain
Do you get pain on the side of your hip when lying in bed at night?
Or maybe when you’re walking up or down stairs?
You might have been told that a steroid (cortisone) injection will fix it. Read on to find out why these injections are NOT a miracle cure.
“Steroid injections often give good temporary relief from hip pain (hip bursitis) but studies have shown that the pain is likely to return to its original intensity after 12 months or less!”
Cortisone injections are designed to treat inflammation – a symptom, not the CAUSE of pain. Relying on steroid injections to fix your pain can lead to frustration and ongoing symptoms, not to mention the expense involved in having injection after injection. Some people will have more than 10 injections into their hip and still have their hip pain!
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Pain on the outside of your hip often comes about due to hip muscle weakness, which overloads the surrounding tendons and leads to pain and inflammation. Physiotherapy will address the specific cause of your pain and all the underlying factors, promoting a full and permanent recovery.
We all want that one, quick and easy fix but the reality is it doesn’t exist. It’s frustrating seeing people sent for injection after injection without ever addressing the root cause of their pain. Physiotherapy should always be your first step!
In saying that, cortisone injections can be a handy supplement to your physiotherapy if you’ve had the pain for a while. Read on to find out why.
Some information about cortisone…
Cortisone has been used since the 1950s to treat inflammation by mimicking the body’s natural anti-inflammatory hormones. Cortisone is a steroid but it is not an anabolic steroid (as used by some bodybuilders) and does not increase muscle strength. It is designed to relieve pain caused by inflammation and often does a very good job in the short-term. However, the continued use of cortisone injections into your hip can actually weaken the tendons that help to support it, leading to even more pain.
How will physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy will use a combination of education, re-training and strengthening to restore the balance and function around your hip. Sometimes the pain is too severe to start or progress your exercises – this is where a cortisone injection can be useful. The injection can help to bring your pain under control long enough to build the strength around the hip. By the time the cortisone wears off, the muscles and tendons will be strong enough to support the pelvis and prevent the pain returning – forever!
If you decide to have an injection…
One consideration is who delivers your injection, and how. Cortisone works most effectively when delivered to the exact area of inflammation. Using ultrasound imaging to help guide the injection is the best way to ensure this happens. Sometimes sports doctors with lots of experience might perform the injection in their rooms without ultrasound but just remember that an injection into the wrong area won’t help your pain.
If you’re suffering from pain on the side of your hip, you will hopefully now understand why physiotherapy should be your first step. Why not book in for a Hip Pain Assessment to find out exactly what’s causing your pain and get on the road to being pain-free, permanently!
Call us now on 07 5528 6000 or book online.