Do Cortisone Shots Work?

The number one thing people have been searching to get to this site lately is “cortisone shots” (or, as someone wrote it, “cortizone shoots”), which apparently directs them to a post I wrote about why I got a cortisone shot in my foot. It seemed appropriate, then, that I should update these visitors on if it worked or not.

In short: yes, the cortisone shot worked.

The day of the shot my entire leg hurt and I didn’t do anything except sit around. The next day, my foot was still sore and slightly swollen, but I could water run. And, by two days after I was able to do a test run, which went fine, and then a slightly longer test run the next day, which was when I realized it wasn’t my foot that was going to hurt me during the marathon.

So, yes, it sort of worked. My foot hurting is not why I dropped out of Boston. But, a cortisone shot doesn’t solve all your other problems, which have come about as a result of whatever is the reason you need to get a cortisone shot, so it’s only sort of a cure-all.

In theory, now, the cortisone should last for a few months, but after our daily 4-5 miles of walking around Boston my toe started to feel sore. (We had to walk a mile each way to get to the train station, through neighborhoods full of some creepy-ass East Coast big houses.) My toe has been on and off sore-like for the last week, meaning I can usually run a few miles, but I’m never sure if I’ll be able to. This leads me to believe one of two things: either the shot isn’t as effective as purported or the problem is not necessarily inflammation as much as it is some other bone-type issue, like a fracture.

Both of those scenarios mean one thing: doctors suck.

7 thoughts on “Do Cortisone Shots Work?

  1. I just got a cortisone shot for my wrist. My Doc says they take about 2-3 days to reach full potential. But they are highly location specific. So unless your shot was in your toe then that the toe hurting is not related to the cortisone.

    1. Yeah, I got the shot right at the base of my toe where it was hurting and supposedly where all this inflammation was. But, I’m starting to think there might be some other problems too that the cortisone is masking some, but clearly not all.

  2. I had cortisone shots a few times (3?) in my foot for the Mortons Neuroma. Definitely helped the first time, not so much the other two.

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