Cortisone injections are used for pain relief in rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, and osteoarthritis. They are most commonly injected into joints: shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, joints in hands or feet.
Cortisone injections usually include an anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief and a corticosteroid medication to relieve pain and inflammation over time. The number of cortisone injections you can get in a year is generally limited.
Cortisone injections cause temporary pain and inflammation (lasting up to 48 hours). After that, pain and inflammation of the affected joint should decrease and can last up to several months.