? about shoulder pain and cortisone injections

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/30/2009 5:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm having terrible shoulder pain which is raidiating up to the sides and back of my neck.  I've had an injection in each of my AC joints almost 3 mths. ago and was wondering if anyone else has ever had these infections before?  Do they help you?  Do they work eventually?  I'm due for the next one next Monday and I'm in some serious pain.  I can't get an MRI right now since it's the end of the year and I would have to meet my very high deductable and then meet it all over again after Jan. 1st.  I'm trying to hold out on it.  Something is causing the terrible pain and it's gotten to the point that I have to pick and choose what I do each day.  I've had PT before for this so I know the exercises to do, I use heat and ice.  I take my meds he prescribed, they don't work at all.  I'm at my wits end here.
Thanks for letting me get that out.  And I'd love some advice or some thoughts on this.  I just need some relief. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 11/30/2009 8:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I wish I could tell you that the shot worked on my shoulder, but it did not. Intead I had surgery in Sept. for a bone spur.

Those shots did work on my hip and knee though....so I think it just depends on what is wrong. I had bursitis in my hip and have osteoarthritis in my knee.
DX fibromyalgia 2007, osteoarthritis, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, hysterectomy.

fluoxetine (prozac), abilify, trazodone, lorazepam, prilosec, nabumetone, hydrocodone, c-pap machine.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3452
   Posted 11/30/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I injured my rotator cuff once.  That is incredibly painful!  And as you age ( I don't how old you are) we lose the muscle to support our joints and they become much easier to injure.  I injured mine target shooting with a 22.  It was not anything traumatic at all and yet I was in agony especially in the evening.
Mine was fixed with cortisone and exercise and stretching.  I am sorry I don't have any advice for you.  I just wanted to show my support.  Shoulder pain can be debilitating.  Good luck and keep us posted!!
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 11/30/2009 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi, Sorry about your shoulder pain. I agree with mjoy, the shots might help depending
on what they determine what is wrong.

I had a cortisone shot in my shoulder for adhesive capsulitis(frozen shoulder). It helped some,
but until the adhesive capsulits was broken up through PT, I didn't have much pain relief.

Hope the doctors determine what is wrong quickly and you find pain relief soon!


MCTD, Fibromyalgia, Raynauds, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Degenerative 
 Disc Disease, Hypertension, Migraines and Pseudothrombocytopenia MEDS: Methotrexate, Savella,Flexeril,Diltiazem, Boniva, Vitamins 

solar powered
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 11/30/2009 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi. You said that the shots have been in the AC joint. Do you have arthritis there or ? Did you get any relief with the injections? I have had several shots in the shoulder joint because of bursitis as well as in the biceps tendon sheath because of tendinitis. They always gave me good relief. Just remember that usually cortisone won't fix the underlying problem but rather helps to relieve the pain by decreasing the inflammation, thus the problem may continue to return. And you really shouldn't get multiple shots over a long period of time because the cortisone can cause damage to the point of rupture to the tendons and ligaments. It sounds like you need a more definitive diagnosis so an MRI first thing next year might be in order. After that the best course of treatment may be something other than cortisone. Maybe surgery or a therapy such as active release therapy (ART) or specialized massage. I hope you find relief very soon. Lisa
If I can laugh at it, I can live with it.

Post Edited (geckogirl) : 11/30/2009 12:14:27 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4621
   Posted 11/30/2009 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi -
I've had depo-medrol shots in my hip bursae and spine and they're helping me a lot. One shot stopped my sciatic pain for over a year. I plan to get shots in my shoulders as soon as they finish with my really awfully arthritic back and my broken ribs. I have a torn medial meniscus in the left knee which was not helped by injection.

Medications that help me are tramadol for pain, especially the muscles; gabapentin only 100 mg helps with sleep and nerve pain; Clinoril helps with inflammation. I keep some vicodin around for days when the pain is severe, but it stops working if used too long.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/30/2009 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi
I can soooooo sympathise with you over your shoulder pain.  I have had chronic pain there for the past three years. I get cortisone injections every three months, which are grdually not working as well as they were, but I suppose my body is getting used to them.  At first it was thought I had a rotator cuff tear, but having had an ultrasound guided injection I managed to see a specialist and he sent me off for an MRI.  I turns out that I have really bad arthritis in both shoulders and will eventually need shoulder replacements for both of them.  Aaarrgghhh shocked    He's not keen to go ahead straight away as he says I am too young and would probably need at least another two replacements in my life.  Also I have a blood clotting disorder which complicates matters considerably as I have to have Factor VIII cover and they aren't too keen on giving too many human blood products with all the inherant risks (can't have DDAVP - the synthetic option as had anaphalactic reaction shakehead )
Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with you and I agree with Alcie, tramadol and gabapentin or pre-gabalin can be really useful, I have had to resort to MST but back up with Tramadol.
Take care and good wishes

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 12/1/2009 12:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi!

I too was wondering about the reason for the injections. Maybe I missed something, not uncommon, but is it for arthritis, fibro pain, torn or broken parts? I have a terrible time with neck/shoulder/shoulder blade area as well as arms and hands. When it gets so bad that the pain meds don't help then doc will give me injections into the muscle where the pain is worse...most often on both sides since they seem to act up in tandem. Last time I had injections into the muscle trapezius muscle..that's the one that runs down both sides around the back of your neck and down onto the shoulder blades. I did some searching to find out what it was called so I could speak to my body with words longer than 4 letters...lol Here are a couple of links I found that show the muscles in that area.


Anyway, doc uses something called Marcaine which is a timed release numbing agent. He first puts in a tiny bit of something to numb the area on the skin. Then in goes the Marcaine into the muscle. Not the most pleasant or entertaining time ever but it does offer some relief. What he explained to me was that often in people with fibro the muscle gets into spasms and just can't quit. The Marcaine lets it relax so the spasms will stop and so will the associated pain. The end result is that in a short time the pain begins to ease up and by the next day the Marcaine is in full swing. The Marcaine lasts for about 5 days, more if you're lucky. But for me it really helps get the muscle settled down which lowers the pain from flare down to normal. It's a thought in case your pain is from fibro muscles issues.

Shoulder/neck issues cause the pain to radiate into headaches, back aches, etc. so it feels like it's affecting way more than it should. I do hope you find some relief and soon!

Keep in touch,
The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. — Alexander Chalmers

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, PTSD, UC, Diabetic on insulin, collapsed disk, arthritis scattered around and a few other delights.

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