Steroid injections, also called corticosteroid injections, are anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat a range of conditions.
They can be used to treat problems such as joint pain, arthritis, sciatica and inflammatory bowel disease.
Steroid injections are only given by healthcare professionals. Common examples include hydrocortisone, triamcinolone and methylprednisolone.
Steroid injections are usually given by a specialist doctor in hospital.
They can be given in several different ways, including:
into a joint (an intra-articular injection)
into a muscle (an intramuscular injection)
into the spine (an epidural injection)
into the blood (an intravenous injection)
The injections normally take a few days to start working, although some work in a few hours. The effect usually wears off after a few months.
If you’re having an injection to relieve pain, it may also contain local anaesthetic. This provides immediate pain relief that lasts a few hours.
You should be able to go home soon after the injection. You may need to rest the treated body part for a few days.