Your feet take all the stresses and wear-and-tear of your daily life. So, doesn’t it make sense to give them the best possible podiatry care? When you experience podiatry problems like sports injuries, you want to treat your feet and ankles with the right therapies.
Expert podiatrist Dr. Leonard Greenwald uses state-of-the-art medical techniques to support your foot and ankle health. Among the treatment modalities Dr. Greenwald relies on in his podiatry practice in San Jose, California, corticosteroid injections have multiple benefits for your feet and ankles.
How can cortisone help your feet and ankles? Here’s what you need to know about this type of man-made steroid and your podiatry health, and the role corticosteroids could play in your foot or ankle treatment plan.
The healing power of cortisone
Cortisone is an artificially-formulated steroid that’s designed to create the same effects in your body as the naturally-occurring hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone at the base of your “fight or flight” response that activates systems throughout your body to help you survive extreme situations.
Corticosteroids are different from performance-enhancing anabolic steroids, which mimic the hormone testosterone.
Cortisone shots activate your natural anti-inflammatory capabilities. Dr. Greenwald offers corticosteroid injections to reduce pain or swelling in your feet or ankles. This type of treatment is completely noninvasive and nonsurgical.
Why you could need cortisone shots
What type of foot and ankle conditions can benefit from corticosteroid injection treatments? There’s a wide range! In general, foot or ankle conditions that come with pain, inflammation, or joint crackling or popping respond well to corticosteroid treatment. Often, these include common sports injuries.
Dr. Greenwald might recommend a steroid injection for you if you’re affected by conditions including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Osteoarthritis in your ankle
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Achilles tendinopathy
Corticosteroid injections pair well with other forms of noninvasive podiatry treatment like physical therapy. A few injections might be just what you need to get over the “hump” of healing from a podiatry problem.
Corticosteroids are also available as oral medication, if injections aren’t right for you, although oral administration can increase side effects.
The limits of cortisone treatment
While corticosteroid injections are a powerful tool to help your feet and ankles heal, it’s not the best idea to rely on this type of treatment too completely. Overusing corticosteroids can have negative consequences for your feet and ankles, potentially resulting in weakened bones, weakened tendons, and cartilage loss.
Recommendations suggest that you should only use corticosteroids sparingly, not more often than 3-4 times per year. Your treatments should be spaced at least six weeks apart to protect from negative effects.
Your results with corticosteroid treatment appear within days or hours, and can last for as long as several months. You may notice a spike in your pain and inflammation immediately after your injection session, prior to your pain relief results taking full effect.
To learn more about the role cortisone could play in your podiatry care and if you’re a good candidate for steroid injection treatment, contact Dr. Greenwald today. Schedule your initial consultation online or over the phone now.