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Do Cortisone Shots Actually Make Things Worse?

The steroid cortisone has long been considered a safe, reliable means to treat the pain and inflammation associated with sports injuries. Cortisone shots are one of the preferred treatments for overuse injuries of tendons.

But a major new review article, after examining the results of nearly four dozen randomized trials, found that people who received cortisone shots had a much lower rate of full recovery and a 63 percent higher risk of relapse.

The New York Times reports:

“In other words, in some way, the cortisone shots impede full recovery, and compared with those adopting a wait-and-see policy, those getting the shots ‘are worse off.’ Those people receiving multiple injections may be at particularly high risk for continuing damage.”

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