How Long Does Anxiety Last After Cortisone Shot: A Concise Explanation

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Cortisone shots are a common form of treatment for various inflammatory conditions and can relieve those suffering from pain and discomfort. However, one side effect that can occur after receiving a cortisone shot is increased anxiety. Understanding the relationship between cortisone and anxiety is crucial in managing the potential side effects and knowing how long they may last.

Anxiety after a cortisone shot is attributed to the rapid changes in the body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol, a hormone the adrenal glands produces, directly influences mood and stress response. When a cortisone shot is administered, it can cause a temporary increase in cortisol levels, which can subsequently lead to heightened anxiety.

The duration of anxiety following a cortisone shot may vary from person to person. In most cases, the heightened anxiety will subside within a few days to a couple of weeks as the body’s cortisol levels normalize. Factors such as individual metabolic rate, the severity of the inflammatory condition being treated, and the dosage of cortisone can all contribute to the length of time anxiety may persist after treatment.

Understanding Cortisone Shots

Corticosteroid Injections

Cortisone shots are a type of corticosteroid injection that is used to provide relief from pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids are synthetic hormones that mimic the effects of cortisol, a hormone produced naturally by the body. These injections are typically administered directly into an inflamed or painful area, such as a joint or soft tissue.

Corticosteroid injections can offer rapid relief from pain and inflammation, often within a few hours or days. However, the duration of this relief can vary depending on the severity of the condition and individual factors, such as age and overall health.

Conditions Treated by Cortisone Shots

Cortisone shots are commonly used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are both types of joint inflammation that can benefit from cortisone injections. The injections can help reduce pain and improve joint function in these cases.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion joints. Cortisone injections can help alleviate pain and inflammation, providing relief and allowing for improved mobility.
  • Tendinitis: Tendinitis occurs when tendons, the fibrous bands that connect muscle to bone, become inflamed. Cortisone shots can help decrease inflammation and reduce pain in affected areas, such as the shoulder or elbow.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Injections may be used to reduce inflammation around the median nerve in the wrist, providing relief for those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Trigger Finger: Trigger finger is a condition where a finger becomes locked in a bent position due to inflammation in the tendon sheath. Cortisone injections can help alleviate pain and improve finger mobility.
  • Gout: Cortisone shots may be used to treat acute gout attacks, which cause sudden and severe joint pain due to the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint. The injections can help reduce inflammation and pain, relieving the individual.
  • Autoimmune disorders: In some cases, cortisone injections may treat certain autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or psoriasis, by reducing inflammation and suppressing the overactive immune response.

Overall, cortisone shots can be an effective treatment option for a range of conditions characterized by pain and inflammation. However, discussing the potential benefits and risks with a healthcare professional before receiving a cortisone injection is important to ensure that it is the right treatment option for your needs.

Procedure and Administration

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Preparing for a Cortisone Shot

Before administering a cortisone shot, the doctor will discuss the procedure and potential benefits and risks with the patient. The patient may be asked to change into a gown for better access to the injection site. Common injection sites include the knee, hip, shoulder, spine, and elbow.

It may be helpful for the patient to avoid taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, before the procedure to minimize the risk of complications. The doctor will advise the patient on any necessary adjustments to their medication regimen.

The Injection Process

During the injection process, the patient will be positioned in a way that provides the best access to the affected joint. The doctor may use a local anesthetic to numb the area before administering the cortisone shot. This helps to reduce discomfort during the injection.

The doctor may use an ultrasound or other imaging technique to guide the needle to the precise location within the joint. This is important to ensure accurate placement of the steroid injection, which can help to minimize the risk of nerve damage.

Once the needle is in place, the doctor will slowly inject the cortisone and any other medications into the joint. The entire process usually takes only a few minutes.

After the injection, the patient may experience temporary numbness or tingling due to the local anesthetic. This usually subsides within a few hours. The doctor will provide post-injection care instructions, including any limitations on activities or necessary follow-up appointments.

In summary, cortisone shots are administered by a doctor using a careful, guided approach to ensure accuracy and minimize potential risks. Proper preparation and clear communication between the patient and doctor are crucial to the procedure’s success.

How Long Does Anxiety Last after a Cortisone Shot

Cortisone shots are commonly administered to alleviate inflammation and pain in various body parts. While they can be quite effective, they may also induce anxiety in some patients. This section will explore the duration of anxiety following a cortisone shot and the factors that may affect its persistence.

Factors Affecting Anxiety Duration

Several factors may influence the duration of anxiety after receiving a cortisone shot. Some of these include:

  1. Individual sensitivity to corticosteroids: People react differently to corticosteroids; while some may experience no side effects, others may develop anxiety or discomfort. This sensitivity is largely determined by one’s unique genetic and physiological makeup.
  2. Previous experiences with cortisone shots: Those who have received and experienced anxiety may be more likely to develop anxiety with subsequent injections due to a heightened awareness of the potential side effects.
  3. Underlying anxiety disorders: People with pre-existing anxiety disorders may be more sensitive to cortisone-induced anxiety or may have more difficulty coping with the emotional side effects of the shot.

Anxiety after a cortisone shot may persist for a few hours following the injection or last for several months, depending on the abovementioned factors. Furthermore, some people may experience discomfort, which could contribute to their anxiety levels.

Individuals need to discuss their concerns with their healthcare provider, who can provide personalized guidance and recommendations based on their situation. Patients should also monitor their anxiety levels and symptoms and inform their healthcare provider if they notice persistent or worsening anxiety.

While it may be difficult to completely prevent anxiety after a cortisone shot, understanding the factors contributing to its duration can help individuals better manage their emotional well-being following the procedure.

Possible Side Effects and Risks

Common Side Effects

Cortisone shots are often used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in joints. However, they can also cause a variety of side effects. Some common side effects include:

  • Pain and pressure at the injection site, which can usually be managed with ice
  • Temporary increase in blood sugar levels, particularly in patients with diabetes
  • Mild inflammation and swelling in the area where the shot was given

These side effects are generally mild and subside within a few days.

Severe Side Effects

In some cases, cortisone shots can cause more severe side effects. These may include:

  • Bruising and redness around the injection site
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Changes in skin color, such as darkening or lightening
  • High blood pressure

If any of these side effects occur, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for guidance.


While cortisone shots can relieve pain, they also carry some risks. Potential complications include:

  • Osteoporosis: Prolonged cortisone injections can weaken the bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Infections: Infections are rare but can occur if bacteria enter the body through the injection site.
  • Adrenal gland suppression: Prolonged use of corticosteroids can cause the adrenal glands to stop producing their hormones.
  • Damage to nearby tissues: Injections into or around the joints can sometimes cause damage to the joint, tendons, or nerves.

Before proceeding with the treatment, weighing the risks and benefits of cortisone shots with a healthcare professional is essential. Monitoring for adverse effects and using these injections judiciously can minimize potential complications.

Cortisone Shot Cost and Coverage

Cortisone shots are a common treatment for various inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, joint pain, and tendonitis. While they are generally effective at providing relief, patients may wonder about the cost of cortisone injections and whether their insurance will cover the expense.

Insurance Coverage

In most cases, insurance providers cover the cost of cortisone injections, as they are considered a medically necessary treatment for many inflammatory conditions. However, it is essential to check with your insurance provider to confirm the extent of coverage, as it can vary depending on your plan and provider. Copays, coinsurance, and deductibles may apply, which means you may still have some out-of-pocket expenses even if the procedure is covered.

Several factors come into play regarding the cost of cortisone shots. These include:

Here’s a rough estimate of the possible costs involved:

ComponentEstimated Cost
Healthcare provider’s fees$75 to $200
Cortisone medication$25 to $50
Facility or service fees$50 to $100

Thus, the total cost of a cortisone shot can range from $150 to $350, depending on various factors. Remember that these prices can fluctuate based on location, the specific healthcare provider, and the complexity of your situation.

In summary, cortisone shots are generally covered by insurance, but it’s essential to consult your insurance provider to determine the extent of your coverage. Costs can vary significantly, so obtaining an accurate estimate from your healthcare provider before receiving a cortisone injection is crucial.

Tips to Reduce Anxiety after a Cortisone Shot

Post-Injection Care

After receiving a cortisone shot, following proper post-injection care is essential to minimize anxiety and promote healing. Here are some tips to help:

  • Rest the affected area for 24-48 hours: Giving your body time to heal is crucial, especially if the injection involves tendons, bursae, or a frozen shoulder.
  • Apply ice: To reduce inflammation and provide relief, apply ice packs to the injection site for 15-20 minutes several times a day.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers: If you experience discomfort, take recommended doses of pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Alternative Treatment Options

In addition to post-injection care, individuals may explore alternative treatment options that may aid in relieving anxiety related to cortisone shots:

  • Physical therapy: Engaging in guided exercises and stretches can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain. This can be particularly helpful for those with frozen shoulder or other joint issues.
  • Mindfulness practices: Deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help alleviate anxiety and tension associated with cortisone injections.
  • Natural remedies: Some herbs and supplements, such as valerian root or passionflower, may help reduce anxiety. However, discussing these options with a healthcare professional before taking new supplements is essential.

Practicing proper post-injection care and exploring alternative treatments can reduce anxiety following a cortisone shot without making exaggerated claims or false promises.


How long does anxiety last after a cortisone shot?

Anxiety duration after a cortisone shot can vary for each individual. Typically, it may last a few hours to a couple of days. Factors such as sensitivity to corticosteroids, dosage, and medical history can influence the duration of anxiety.

What factors can influence the duration of anxiety after a cortisone shot?

  • Sensitivity to corticosteroids: Some individuals have an increased sensitivity to corticosteroids, which may result in heightened or prolonged anxiety.
  • Dosage: Higher doses of cortisone can increase the likelihood and intensity of anxiety.
  • Medical history: A history of anxiety or mental health issues may contribute to a longer duration of anxiety after the cortisone shot.

What are the symptoms of anxiety after a cortisone shot?

Symptoms of anxiety after a cortisone shot may include:

  • Feeling nervous or on edge
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

What can you do to manage anxiety after a cortisone shot?

Some strategies that may help reduce anxiety include:

  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness
  • Engaging in physical activity to help release stress and tension
  • Talking to a healthcare professional about your concerns and symptoms
  • Asking about potential adjustments in dosage or alternative treatments if anxiety persists

When should you seek medical help for anxiety after a cortisone shot?

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional if you experience severe or persistent anxiety, especially if it interferes with your daily life, causes distress, or worsens over time. Your healthcare provider can evaluate your situation and recommend appropriate management strategies or alternative treatments.

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