What are steroid injections and why are they prescribed?
Some steroids occur naturally in the human body. Man-made steroids act like natural steroids to reduce inflammation. They're not the same as the steroids used by body builders to increase their muscle size and strength.
They can be taken as tablets or given as injections into the affected area (a 'local' injection). Steroid injections are often recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other types of inflammatory arthritis.
They may also be recommended for osteoarthritis if your joints are very painful or if you need additional pain relief for a time. The injection should reduce inflammation, which in turn reduces pain.
A number of different steroids are available for injection. Short-acting soluble steroids can give relief within hours and should last for at least a week. The longer-acting, less soluble steroids may take around a week to become effective but can ease your symptoms for two months or longer.