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Corticosteroid injection of the shoulder is a common procedure performed for chronic painful shoulders. People with chronic inflammation of the shoulder experience a lot of pain and a drastic reduction in movement and strength. This injection helps reduce inflammation and provide effective pain relief allowing you to functionally use your arm. The injection is constructed of an anaesthetic (pain reduction) and cortisone drug (powerful anti-inflammatory). Injections can be administered into 3 places for a variety of conditions including:
  • The shoulder joint
    • Frozen shoulder
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Bicipital tendonitis
  • The sub-acromial space
    • Impingement Syndrome
    • Bursitis
    • Rotator cuff tendinopathy
  • The acromio-clavicular (AC) joint
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms following Steroid Injection of the Shoulder

Following corticosteroid injection of your shoulder it is normal for you to experience side effects for up to 48 hours. Mild pain is commonly associated with the injection however this should subside. Corticosteroid injections are designed to reduce and eliminate your symptoms (pain, inflammation, stiffness) however if these persist you should contact your GP.

Stretches of the shoulder joint performed by a therapistAbove: Stretches of the shoulder joint performed by a therapist

Physiotherapy for Steroid Injection of the Shoulder

Steroid injections treat the presenting symptoms of pain and inflammation allowing you to return to your previous level of function. However, it does not treat underlying pathologies or secondary problems. Physiotherapy therefore becomes an essential and hugely beneficial adjunct to corticosteroid injection helping to prevent reoccurrence of symptoms. will provide a thorough assessment of your shoulder highlighting any weakness, abnormalities or underlying causes which could be contributing and causing the pain you are experiencing. We will then develop a structured rehabilitation programme designed on the assessment finding and your specific needs. Treatment will include:
  • Cryotherapy
  • Pain management
  • Taping
  • Postural training
  • Heat therapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Joint mobilisations
  • Stretching
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Strengthening of appropriate muscles
  • Scapular stabilising
  • Proprioceptive training including PNF
  • Home exercise programme
  • Sport specific exercises
  • Occupational exercises/modifications
  • Functional exercises
  • Advice and long term management


Steroid injections of the shoulder are performed on chronic pain problems to help reduce pain, inflammation and underlying causes. They are performed on numerous structures within the shoulder for a variety of reasons. They can be used as both as an alterative and in conjunction with physiotherapy. will provide a thorough assessment outlining underlying causes and weakness, addressing them within a personalised rehabilitation programme. will help to reduce acute symptoms and manage chronic symptoms helping to return movement, strength and function of your shoulder. Call now on 0330 088 7800 for more information or to book an appointment please contact us.

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