Should You Get a Cortisone Shot for Low Back Pain?

Alternative Physical Medicine

Should you get a cortisone shot for low back pain? Many patients come to our alternative medicine clinic in Lakewood, Colorado dire straits when it comes to low back pain from a herniated, bulging or degenerated disc. Oftentimes the standard course of action is (in sequential order) : anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, cortico-steroid injections and then surgery. That sequence of events or recommendations is often true with back pain, sciatica, knee pain or shoulder or hip pain. There alternatives to getting a cortisone shot for low back pain and other types of joint pain here in the Denver area.  This article references some outside sources regarding cortisone injections and their safety.

Following is is an excerpt for an article originally from :

Here are the dangers of cortisone  found in the medical reference book in the hospital. What the doctors don’t tell you!

The main three side effects are:

  1. adrenal gland atrophy
  2. immunosuppression and
  3. detrimental psychiatric effects.

The damaging effects on the immune system mean an increased susceptibility to infections including fungal and viral.

Psychiatric side-effects listed are: nightmares, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, psychotic reactions and depression.

Furthermore cortisone has been found to cause hypertension (high blood pressure), sodium and water retention and potassium loss.

Cortisone Injection Risks, Dangers

Side effects of cortisone injections on hips and shoulder include:

1. Discoloration of skin is a very common side effect.

2. A steroid flare is another very common effect. The cortisone crystallizes and results in excruciating pain. The pain remains for a day or two.

3. Women may experience flushing. The face looks red and flushed. Some women may also develop acne and experience menstrual trouble.

4. Where the cortisone is injected, fat atrophy may develop. This causes loss of fatty tissue. This side effect may last for a few months.

5. Infection, although very rare, may occur

6. Cortisone causes a momentary elevation in the serum glucose levels. Diabetics taking insulin must keep an eye on their glucose levels, and regulate the dose suitably.

7. A cortisone injection given in to a weak / inflamed tendon may cause it to rupture.

8. Cortisone injections may also have a bearing on the blood pressure, may result in avascular necrosis of the bone, or may cause bleeding due to rupture of blood vessels.

There are alternatives to cortisone that are plant based and natural that do not have the side effects and can be quite effective at decreasing pain and supporting healing. And please don’t forget about physical therapy that addresses the underlying problem or in jury and chiropractic problem

The following is from another source Gary Moller, he advises that you  have a read here of one of my earlier warnings about these harmful injections.

And here is the search string for a whole lot of articles written by Gary Moller about cortisone injections.

Moller says that these injections can leave their victims suffering from visible deformities and ongoing structural weakness, including catastrophic rupture of muscles and tendons.  These are not theoretical or rare – these are common side-effects of a surgical procedure that is enthusiastically promoted as the “quick-fix” panacea of all musculo-skeletal aches and pains.


The site of the “tennis elbow” that was injected was the wrong spot!
So, several months later, she still had elbow pain which has now
resolved with some firm deep tissue massage.

Posted from Newtown, Pennsylvania, United States.

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Ron Spallone

Dr. Ron Spallone, DC is the chiropractic clinic director. His passion is the driving force behind Denver Chiropractor dot com. He's been a Colorado chiropractor for over 15 years.

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