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Steroid injection in hands?

Just been told i might have to have one by physio. Has anyone had this done and does it work well - is it very painful etc?

15 Replies

Hi Tilda,

I have had steroid injections many times into my wrists and thru to my knuckles & fingers. I would advise you to make sure it is image guided, ie they watch it on an xray as they put it in. If its not ask for that way!

It is very effective, well it has been for me, I think and I hope that it prevented damage to my fingers, which in the early days of diagnosis were quite bad but not now TG..

Does it hurt? well I would say no, not at all. Have you had babies Tilda? Pain is very personal. I would call it a slight sting :) The doc who did them said they can be quite sore as the steroid goes thru so many small bones and that steroid injections in feet & hands were the most painful.

Having said all that, I did'nt find it what I would call pain and I am no brave soldier, but I know pain and that was'nt it. The advantage far outweighs the slight momentary discomfort. If you think getting blood tests is painful, well I guess you will think this is, but if not you will be tikkityboo.

You have to rest the joints for about 24hrs after, can't go back to work or make dinner etc, the relief I have got from them was great. However, they primarily need to get RA under control with DMARDS or anti TNF. Steroids only relief the inflammation or pain, most times temporary, but sometimes, it just does'nt come back, that happened me with some joints.

The very best of luck, don't hesitate, think you will be very pleased. it can take a good few days after to see full effect.

Kind Regards, Gina.


Thanks a lot Gina! I was just thinking hands are so amazingly sensitive just now but as long as it's not terrible pain I can hack it no problem. I find no prob at all with any injections blood tests etc but can nearly be on ceiling when I have anaesthetic into gums so just wondered but you've answered my question entirely I will go for it - maybe be proactive and ask GP for it but will see how it works re xray as things are pretty unsophisticated this end re xray!

Tilda x


Good luck Tilda, as Gina says, it's worth it just in case it works so well and doesn't come back, My knees were the worst and once I got the injection into my knees they then became the less bothersome :) x


Now feeling like I can't wait Williby - but not certain when or how this happens as physio is part of a different system to my surgery/GP so will wait for this Thursday's repeat physio session and ask her what she meant.

Just did the olive oil in gloves and hot water thing and got my forefinger down to about half way which (45 degrees) which feels like a break through as well as feeling lovely and soothing. Got olive oil everywhere though so roll on the arrival of wax bath set courtesy of Erika!

But the bad news is that for first time in months my knee has started to play up as well as both my elbows - can you believe it just when I thought i only had to rub ibuprofen gel on hands and wrists and have a steroid jab in them and all would be well for me?! Tilda x


Did you ever hear of Pernaton Gel? Its Green Mussel extract. I find it much better than ibuprofen especially for back & knee joints. You can also get bath lotion.

Worth a try?

ps. Boots don't do it, so you'll have to find out where in U.K. supplies.

Regards, Gina.


Okay thanks Gina will do. Tilda x


Hi >>i had steroid injections in my hands (2 in each) i thought it was going to be painful but all i thought was its better than the exsisting pain that i have ... but it was fine just stung a little .. much better for having them ...

good luck

debs x


Thanks Debs that's great to know!


Had injections in both wrists due to carpal tunnel. Small sting for only a short while. Would I have it again? Undoubtedly. Judi


I hope this goes ok, steroids have always helped me but I know they can't be long term. You will either know this, find it intensely irritating, or, hopefully, helpful. When you get needled do try doing deep breathing. Llike yoga or tai chi breathing? Breathe out as the needle goes in. I find this really helps partly because the out breath is relaxing, I think and partly because it gives you something else to concentrate on.

I really hope your hands clear up, Tilda. Cant imagine how frustrating it must be, given your work!

I'm off out this morning to visit Blackwells to get Paddy's christmas presents - he's asked for maps OS 5,6,7 - now where could that be! Half the pleasure of going somewhere is the months of anticipation, wondering what the lines on the map will really look like.

Keep well,



Think you can get the pernaton gel from some health food shops.

Good luck with the steroid injection xx

Im just about to get my wax bath back out x


thanks will look out for it but we only have a couple of health shops and chemists here apart from Boots. Otherwise will look for it online - hope your wax bath works a treat. Mx


Well I'm not sure if I'll definitely have to have it yet because she was going to suggest it to the head physio and see what she said so I'll find out on Thursday.

I have to say that having had a few days off the ibuprofen I took them again last night and today and much of the pain has receded again. I don't know whether to credit the NSAIDs or the two olive oil/ hot water baths I gave them yesterday - bending fingers as much as possible as instructed by physio.

If both things are to be credited then I'll do them daily and hopefully on Thursday and following week get gold stars for being a good girl from physio! Telling me that I might soon lose the use of right forefinger permanently was as much of an incentive as the pain and it is wonderful to see it looking and feeling more like a normal finger again. left winky still a bit red, blue and lumpy sore but hopefully that will change under the physio's scary gaze soon!

2nd ever MTX dose tonight! TT x


I have, Tilda, several times. Mostly in the wrists, some in the finger joints. My Rheumatologist doc does this after using the freezing spray to deaden the area.

Usually works quite well. He puts the steroid in with a pain killer injection mixed in, so it works instantly . When the pain killer wears off, in a day or so, it might be sore from the needle itself, but should work well for months. Loret.


Thanks Loret. Well I'm just back from the physio and she said different stuff this time, but in fairness my hands are having a much better day (full quote of NSAIDs and painkillers plus exercises she gave me) and she said that she wasn't sure about steroid injections for me because most of the inflammation is coming up from the tendons in my hands and she says the injections have to be very specific for a specific joint whereas my hands are generally in lots of different points and my finger is bending a lot better than the other day so her exercises with olive oil seem to be working a bit and I'll keep trying to get them moving more.

The most swollen joints are two of the knuckles and the tendons around them so she felt it might not be that successful and may be better to go back to oral steroids if I flare again. She said my GP or rheumy are the only two who are trained to give them up here so if they get unbearable again, as I;m sure they will, i'll just go straight to my GP. Meanwhile she's doing some ultrasound massage on the worst knuckle twice a week and is hoping the MTX will make a difference without me needing the steroid injections - ears crossed! Tilda


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