What are cortisone shots?

Cortisone shots are injections of medicine that ease pain and swelling in different parts of the body. Doctors use these shots to treat injuries and conditions such as arthritis or autoimmune disorders (when the body’s immune system harms its own cells).

Cortisone is a type of medication called a corticosteroid. Doctors use these drugs to treat inflammation (swelling) caused by injury and illness. Sometimes cortisone shots are called corticosteroid shots. Commonly used cortisone variants include Kenalog® (tramcinolone) Depo-Medrol® (methylprednisolone), and Celestone® (Betamethasone).

People most commonly receive cortisone shots in joints including the hip, knee, shoulder, spine, hands and feet. The cortisone reduces inflammation (swelling) in and around the joint.

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