Steroid Injections London

Steroid injections are among the most effective minimally invasive treatments for back and spine conditions. At Harley Street Specialist Hospital, we offer a range of steroid injections to treat conditions including sciatica, spinal stenosis, and other types of back pain. Cortisone injections are proven to minimise inflammation, decrease swelling, and reduce pain.

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What are steroid injections?

Also known as cortisone injections or corticosteroid injections, steroid injections primarily reduce inflammation around the injection site. 

Your body naturally produces steroid hormones called glucocorticoids. When your immune response is triggered, glucocorticoids help your body regulate inflammation. But if the inflammatory response continues, synthetic glucocorticoids — or steroid injections — can be used as an effective anti-inflammatory treatment. This usually reduces pain and swelling so you can get back to your day-to-day activities.

Steroid injections are often prescribed if non-invasive back and spine treatments haven’t worked to tackle your back pain, such as physiotherapy. They’re more likely to be offered for chronic or severe acute pain that limits your daily activities and can’t be managed at home.

At Harley Street Specialist Hospital, you can get private injections to relieve pain and help you get back to normal day-to-day life. We’ll also recommend techniques to prevent painful flare-ups in future.

Our sciatica and spine consultants

Do I need steroid injections for back pain?

Not everyone with back pain is suitable or eligible for steroid injections. You’ll usually be advised to exhaust non-invasive pain management options before using steroid injections.

If you have any of the following conditions, steroid injections may be an appropriate treatment for you:

  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Joint pain

At HSSH, we carry out extensive diagnostic imaging and other assessments to ensure you’re suitable for the treatment before we prescribe it. If you’re suitable, you can normally have up to four steroid injections per year, leaving at least three months between treatments.

Why use steroid injections for back pain?

Steroid injections are an effective way of managing back pain where other non-invasive therapies haven’t helped.

The advantages of steroid injections

  • Ultrasound guided injections — We can pinpoint and target specific areas for treatment, giving you better outcomes and minimising unnecessary tissue damage.
  • Minimally invasive — Unlike surgery and other treatments, injections can eliminate pain without extensive recovery times.
  • Rapid pain relief — Many patients report a reduction in pain within a few hours of the steroid treatment being administered.
  • Cost-effective — Steroid injections are a relatively inexpensive way to treat and manage chronic back pain.

At HSSH, you don’t need a referral from your GP. Our expert medical team will assess you and prescribe steroid injections in-house, giving you fast access to treatment.

How steroid injections work

Steroid injections mimic and enhance the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. This reduces pain in the targeted area, helping you get back to your daily routine without chronic pain.

Steroid injections can be administered into your joints, muscle, spine, or blood, depending on your unique needs. A spinal injection is known as an epidural.

Ultrasound guidance helps us locate the exact source of your pain. This allows us to use the lowest effective dose of cortisone (or another appropriate steroid) while still giving you excellent outcomes. It also means you’re less likely to need multiple injections, as we can pinpoint the pain source first time.

Steroid injection process

At HSSH, you can receive treatment the same day as your medical assessment. First, we’ll ensure the treatment is appropriate for you. We then perform an ultrasound scan to pinpoint the pain site before administering the injection, along with a local anaesthetic. Finally, you’ll receive a report detailing your results and any aftercare advice.

Steroid injection FAQs

The effects of the steroids can wear off over time, so you may want to have top-up treatments.However, there are limits to the number of steroid injections you can have in a specific timeframe.

You can have up to four steroid injection treatments a year. You’ll usually need to wait at least three months between injections. 

This prevents the steroid building up in the targeted area, which may increase the risk of side effects. We’ll discuss any concerns you have around side effects, and help you manage these effectively if they arise.

To ensure the procedure is as comfortable as possible, you’ll receive a local anaesthetic in the injection site to numb the area beforehand. This will last a few hours, after which you might feel some soreness in the area.

However, after a couple of days, this will wear off and you should feel much less pain and discomfort than you did before the procedure.

Steroid injections can have some notable side effects, which is why you’re limited to just a few treatments a year. Side effects include:

  • Discomfort in the injection site for a couple of days.
  • Temporary bruising.
  • Blurred vision or other vision changes.
  • Dimpled skin due to loss of fat in the injection site.
  • Raised blood pressure.

In rare cases, epidurals can give you a painful headache. This can be alleviated by lying down, and often gets better by itself.

If you have any concerning side effects, speak to your specialist.

For most people, steroid injections are very safe and will help rather than hinder your recovery.

Sometimes, if a steroid injection isn’t safe for you, they can lead to complications. That’s why it’s important to give your specialist an accurate medical history so they can determine if it’s safe for you to have steroid injections for chronic back pain.

Tell your doctor if:

  • You’ve previously had an allergic reaction to steroids (injectable or otherwise).
  • You have (or have recently recovered from) an infection.
  • You’ve recently been vaccinated (or are due to be vaccinated soon).
  • You’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive.
  • You have other health conditions.
  • You’re taking any other medication.

Giving this information won’t necessarily make you ineligible for steroid injections. It just means your medical team can make an informed decision about the benefits versus the risks for you.

At Harley Street Specialist Hospital, our steroid injection package costs start at £2,001. You can pay for your treatment yourself, or through private health insurance.

Why choose Harley Street Specialist Hospital for private pain management treatment?

At Harley Street Specialist Hospital, you can expect:

We welcome patients with private medical insurance or those wishing to pay for their own treatment.

Orthopaedic treatments

Don’t let painful bone and joint complaints stop you from living your life to the full.

Consult with one of our expert orthopaedic consultants and see how they can help reduce pain, improve movement and mobilise your joints, so you feel better.

With our consultants, clinical team, facilities and diagnostic equipment, we offer a wide range of treatments, so you won’t need to go anywhere else.
Between our internationally recognised consultants, we have specialists that can treat you from head to toe.

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