What Causes a Cortisone Flare?There are two causes of a cortisone flare:
- Needle Puncture
Placing a needle through the skin causes an injury to the body. Your body may react to this needle injury with inflammation and pain.
Injected cortisone can form crystals, and these can irritate the soft tissues, including the lining of joints (the synovial tissue). This tissue can become inflamed, causing a reaction called crystalline synovitis.
How Can a Cortisone Flare be Treated?The best treatments for a cortisone flare are:
The first recommended treatment is resting the area injected with cortisone to allow the inflammation to subside. This is usually accomplished by simply not engaging the body part in strenuous activity.
- Ice the Area
Apply an ice pack to the area, off and on, for the first few days. Knowing how to ice the area properly will help you along the way.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are some of the most commonly prescribed medications for problems such as a cortisone flare.
Cole BJ and Schumacher HR "Injectable Corticosteroids in Modern Practice" J. Am. Acad. Ortho. Surg., January/February 2005; 13: 37 - 46.
Kahn CB, "Corticosteroid crystals in synovial fluid" JAMA 1970;211:807–809.