Skip the Steroids
Steroid injections are one of the most common treatments for shoulder and back pain, but multiple recent studies have found that these shots work no better than physical therapy. “Although injections can help decrease pain in the short term, they don’t address the underlying issue,” says Daniel Rhon of Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. “You might need more injections and more health care visits in the long run.” More injections means more risk. “Steroids can weaken and damage tissue if used too often, and there’s also a low risk of infection,” Rhon says. Your other option, physical therapy, does in fact get at the root cause of pain and carries little to no risk. Plus, guys who get steroid injections often do PT anyway. Every aching back or sore shoulder is different, though, so definitely discuss all of your pain-relief options with your doc.
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