During the cortisone shot
Your doctor might ask you to change into a gown. You'll then be positioned so that your doctor can easily insert the needle.
The area around the injection site is cleaned. Your doctor might also apply an anesthetic spray to numb the area where the needle will be inserted. In some cases, your doctor might use ultrasound or a type of X-ray called fluoroscopy to watch the needle's progress inside your body — so as to place it in the right spot.
You'll likely feel some pressure when the needle is inserted. Let your doctor know if you have a lot of discomfort.
The medication is then released into the injection site. Typically, cortisone shots include a corticosteroid medication to relieve pain and inflammation over time and an anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief.
After the cortisone shot
Some people have redness and a feeling of warmth of the chest and face after a cortisone shot. If you have diabetes, a cortisone shot might temporarily increase your blood sugar levels.
After your cortisone shot, your doctor might ask that you:
- Protect the injection area for a day or two. For instance, if you received a cortisone shot in your shoulder, avoid heavy lifting. If you received a cortisone shot in your knee, stay off your feet when you can.
- Apply ice to the injection site as needed to relieve pain. Don't use heating pads.
- Watch for signs of infection, including increasing pain, redness and swelling that last more than 48 hours.
- Don't use a bathtub, hot tub or whirlpool for two days. You may shower.