My Decision – Cortisone Shots

About 4-5 months ago I started having a lot of trouble with my left hip.  Nothing really seemed to help and I ended up having to involve my doctor.  She ordered an x-ray which came back perfectly fine and then told me to try physical therapy for it.  I went to PT for about a month and a half and all it accomplished was more pain and stiffness.  Awesome!

So I recently went back to my doctor for an unrelated issue and I told her that the PT caused more damage than good and that I was still in pain (even more so now).  My doctor then decided to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI of my hip and lower back.

Any who, long story short, there is nothing wrong with my hip but I do have a bulging disk in my lower back.  The disk could be related to the hip pain somehow but we don’t really know for sure.  More awesome news!

When I asked the orthopedic surgeon what the plan of treatment would be, he told me PT and cortisone shots in my back, a series of three.  Now I’m not a fan of any type of medications or unnecessary procedures so I asked him if that would even be worth it.  I told him that I didn’t want to have to rely on cortisone shots for the rest of my life to make myself feel better.  He told me that cortisone shots are primarily for pain management and that they MIGHT help to “fix” my bulging disk.

Uh, excuse me?

I left the office not really feeling that great about the conclusion we just came to.  I decided that I would let my HMO go through an approve everything but in the back of my mind I’m thinking that I don’t really want giant needles to poke into my back because it “might” help.  Then, as if there was some divine intervention, I ran across this article today…

Should Runners Get Cortisone Shots: Competitor Magazine

I don’t know if the article directly tells me that cortisone shots are not the answer, but the trend running through the article seems to say that the shorts are only for temporary relief.  I’m not down with that!  Why bother?  I’ve decided that I’m going to research my own PT program and try to strengthen the back and supporting muscles instead of relying on a treatment that may or may not work.  My bulging disk is not extreme or anything like that so I’m ok with trying to solve this problem on my own.  At least now I know where to concentrate my efforts, I wasted several months working on a hip that has no problem.

Have you received cortisone shots for an injury or pain management and what was your outcome?

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2 thoughts on “My Decision – Cortisone Shots

  1. BOO it sucks to treat symptoms and not know if you’re getting anywhere. Have you seen an Active Release Therapist? They’re usually in the same clinic as Chiropractic so it should be covered (usually it’s a chiro doc who administers the ART). I found mine at a sports clinic…I had chronic low back pain for over 10 years from dance injuries, and I am pain free now, after about 6 sessions over a few months. Worth a google, if anything 🙂

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