Don’t Treat the Causes… Treat the Symptoms!
…is what must be thought by doctors in this country.
If you see a doctor for any joint-related pain or injury, they’ll give their cookie-cutter solution: rest, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. What’s the point of all this? It’s to suppress evil inflammation, the reason why your ankle is swollen and painful when you sprain!
If that doesn’t help heal your ailments (which most likely it won’t), your doctor’s got a super-duper trick up his sleeve: cortisone! With cortisone, your doctor injects a wonderful steroid into your painful parts and eliminates the inflammatory process for weeks! How’s that for overkill?
Well, these treatments are all fine and dandy if you care about extinguish pain at any and all costs. Inflammation is painful after all.
However, if you care about the long-term health of your joints, I’d think twice before taking the conventional route to fixing pain. Why is that, you say? Well, why do you think your body is able to produce inflammation? What is the purpose of inflammation?
To simplify it in one sentence, inflammation is the first step of the healing process after an injury. Inflammation occurs every time you injury your body, and it signals your body to start working on healing the said injury. This study found in the SMARTT Journal questions and examines the efficacy of inhibiting inflammation post-injury. This study suggests that anti-inflammatories can very well be inhibiting the healing process, thus lengthening the time it takes for a patient to return to pre-injury status.
In the video below is a strength coach who discusses his thoughts in cortisone for injuries.
His sentiments: research seems to show that cortisone is fine for short-term pain relief, but is sub-par in terms of long-term improvement.
I totally agree with this dude. My belief is that the body is well-equipped to heal musculoskeletal injuries with its own physiological processes. Give your body plenty of rest and the right food, as well as stimulate the injured area with the right amount of movement at the right time, and your body will heal overtime. I see cortisone and other anti-inflammatories as a way to appease your need for instant gratification at the cost of long-term results.
If I sprain something or injure, you bet that I’ll be putting it in a brace, eating properly, resting, and finally, getting physical therapy when it’s needed. Screw the cortisone shots.