Advice needed please re steroid injection


I have a two day trip planned to London 22-23 March my MTX has not kicked in yet only taken 4 doses. My Ra is active at the moment and I have a lot of pain especially in my shoulders and neck.My rheumy nurse has suggested a steroid shot in the bum. I currently take 6 mg of steroid daily as I am tapering down from 30 mg. Do these injections work I am a bit reluctant when it come to steroids as I was misdiagnosed with polymyalgia for 18 myths and lived on steroids.Also my app to have my knees drained and possible injected has come through for the day before I go to London, is this wise I need to be able to walk quite a lot. Any comments much appreciated.


Lorraine x

20 Replies

  • Hello Lorraine, I've had several steroid injections in the bum and they've worked extremely fast and extremely thoroughly: the swelling and pain vanished (first time for about 4 weeks then successively less) literally over night. I did expereince side effects such as night sweats, salty taste in my mouth and mood swings, I got very emotional and tearful but also manic and irritable. But as none of the other meds (MTX, Hydroxy, Naproxen) made any difference to the RA I just tried to deal with it as best as I could. However, my rheumy here in Switzerland has told me the injections in the bum shouldn't be done a lot, only as an emergency as they put a lot of stress on your entire body. Still, as I said I've had about 4 of these injections and I'm still here lol. Also, I don't know how I would have coped without them before I got proper treatment.

    I've always walked around after having my knees drained and injected. They do advise to rest but I think if it's the knees that's not very realistic, just rest them as much as you can but I've never stayed in bed or anything.

    Hope this helps and enjoy your trip to London xx

  • Hi Lorraine I have had 3 steroid injections in the bum and they have worked extremely well although I did tend to do too much as I felt so well and then had to rest so learnt that still need to pace myself. Have also had steroid injections in shoulders and wrists which have worked very well and quickly, I do know that others do not have as good results as I have and can only say I hope if you go ahead that it works well for you. good luck cris xx

  • Hi Lorraine I have had 3 steroid injections in the bum and they have worked extremely well although I did tend to do too much as I felt so well and then had to rest so learnt that still need to pace myself. Have also had steroid injections in shoulders and wrists which have worked very well and quickly, I do know that others do not have as good results as I have and can only say I hope if you go ahead that it works well for you. good luck cris xx

  • The hospital I go to says that they limit you to 4 steroid injections a year, so not something g to have too often. But they work very well for me - and I don't get the side effects that I do with steroids by mouth which make me demented.

    Re the knees, can you at least rest up for as many hours as you can after having them done? As I think that might be lesser of two evils, as walking round on inflammed knees that are full of fluid isn't good for them either. Hope it goes well. Polly

  • mattcass, Hi lorraine in the past i have the injection and it did not work for me, but what i did was to go to the high level of steriods even for a few days and see if that helps, it worked for me then you can gradually cut the steriods back to the lower level and then when you go on your trip up the steriods till you get the relief. You can always ask your GP something else to try good luck.

  • I suppose it depends on how you have been on all the other injection, Me I am very much like swissmiss with steroid injection, but still find that in the end i do benefit from them, but i know that if i was going away, i would get it done a good few days before, have a nice time in London XX

  • I get side effect of feeling bipolar with both oral and jab in the bum and avoid them as a result. If you are likely to be affected equally by both then wouldn't it be more sensible to increase your oral dose as someone else has suggested? If you go for 2 days up to 20mg and then reduce straight back down when you return the you will have less steroid in your system in the long run and can continue to wean off them at your own pace? Better the devil you know type of thing? But I guess your rheumy nurse would have suggested this if she had thought it the best option for you do be guided by her. Can't help with the draining of knees but Polly's suggestion makes sense to me. Tilda x

  • I've had several and each time they've seemed a bit like a miracle cure - definately enough to get you going hopefully so you should be alright for your trip. I believe the benefits last several weeks as well....


  • Hi Lorrayne I was on the floor when my ra first showed itself, injection into butt and four hours later it was as tho someone switched the lights back on, I was bombing around with hoover and vac full of beans and energy, it was wow. With regards to injection into your knee, among other joints I have had an injection into my hip and the rheumy told me to rest for a few days or it may not work, so if it were me I would be nervous of having an injection into my knee and then wandering for england on it, but speak to your people and tell them what your doing. Hope you have a lovely time x

  • Hi Lorraine,

    They really work for me and do so extremely quickly. They control the swelling and pain really well and if it was safe to use just them all the time I wouldn't hesitate to do so! Sadly as we all know you can't have too many but for the trip you're planning I would definitely say go ahead and have one it will make you trip so much nicer.

    Have a great trip.


  • Hi

    I'm with rheumatoidymummy in that I felt I was cured for a couple of weeks when I was first diagnosed and had a steroid injection - I was in the same position as you in that MTX hadn't kicked in. Not sure I'd go for the knee op the day before you go to London if you need to walk a lot.

    Hope everything works out.

  • Hi there,

    I had knees drained & injected with steroids a couple of days before a trip away. The knee draining did not go well, loads of stops & starts and only partly effective - left hospital in a wheelchair but even so I was absolutely fine a day or 2 afterwards.

    For me personally steroid injections directly into the affected joints have worked considerably better than the shot in the bum. Agree with Polly that you'd do well to put your feet up as much as possible before leaving but your knees might appreciate steroid shots after the draining procedure ..... however that then leaves your shoulders and neck - oral painkillers?

    I'd advise running all this past your rheumy nurse again in detail - I have found most practitioners seem to enjoy meeting these very specific kinds of challenges.

    Enjoy your trip!

    Luce x

  • Hi,

    I have had lots of kenalog injections in bum, i can only say, once i benefitted, unlike what the others have said.

    I have had quite a few injections into knees, feet, shoulders and hips. Going from experience, definately need to rest for 48hrs as much as poss.

    I have found this out by not resting and it did'nt work!

    Rhuemy nurse told me, when you rest the steroid stays around the joint where it is neded to reduce inflammation. If you move a lot, the blood flow obviously increases and with it, takes the steroid away from effected area. .

    That made a lot of sense to me, so now i rest up.

    Once though i had injection into foot and was flying the second day after. I rested it as much as i could on day one. The injection worked, it didn't kick in until four days after and wasn't quite as effective.

    Definately try and discuss with your rheumy, like the others have said.

    Hope all goes well so you can enjoy your trip. x

  • Hi Lorraine if the injection in the number kennalog which i think it will be then personally i call this my wonder drug... When my RA is active my whole body is in so much pain and i feellme i have turned to stone but after getting 40mg of kennalog the nest day i feel like gymnastics not that i can physically do any of the intricate moves but hey i can do up the button on my jeans in record time lol... And i seem to lose some weight so double bonus for me :-) well that's my experience and hope it helps and also hope get some relief before ur break ... Thinking of Monica

  • Oh you must do it! I had a shot in my bum when first diagnosed whilst waiting to be put on meds. Was flying to California. I felt like a spring chicken, raced through Paris airport ahead of my husband and daughter - they were shocked at how quickly I was walking!

    I had the same injection before i went on a business trip to Germany and again, it helped enormously. In 13 years, I've only had the two injections and would only do it (as you need to) before an important trip, holiday, meeting etc. The effects of the first one lasted about 6 weeks, the second one only a couple, but did the trick.

    If your rheumy nurse says its okay, you shouldnt worry.

    Also, I had the draining and shots in my knees, again whilst waiting for diagnosis and meds, and again, I felt great - was able to walk "normally" for at least a week. The reflief was profound, getting the fluid off my knees and then the "light" feeling I had after the steroid shots in the knees.

    Let us know how you get on. I personally recommend it all to you.


  • They do help x

  • Have you tried seeing if your appt for your knees can be brought forward? If you explain the situation, you never know 'pigs might fly' ! Hope you enjoy yr trip to London. Wendy xx

  • I have had many steroids into the derrière and they effect immediately I find. Even can feel them working before I have left the hospital. They last two to four weeks for me.

    As for the Kenalog injections into the joint. I was always told that they work better if you immobilise for 24 hours after then go steady. I always do that but then find I am stiff with not moving except to the bathroom. I would also recommend that you try get your knees injected a few days before as you will feel the benefit more. As someone who has had many injections into the knees, I find 24 hours after I am feeling very very good and I can walk well, then two to three days after ... Even better. I would try build in some rest time too in your trip.. Feet up when you can as soon as you get back to your hotel and nice relaxing coffee stops etc inbetween shopping and sightseeing.

    I have had my knee(s) drained many many times as I have a recurring Baker cyst which keeps coming back to say hello. Sometimes they can get a lot of fluid off and the relief is immense and sometimes it is the more tissue which is swollen and nothing or just a tiny bit will come.

    Also, when you have had your knee injected they should let you stay still for five minutes before moving you and my Rheumy department ALWAYS insist on a wheelchair from the treatment room to the door to await lift or taxi etc. They also say keep it still and elevated on the sofa, etc for the first few hours and don't move at all if you can help it. I find the injections into the joint can last anything from two to four months. Depends on the level of flare I have.

    I also think very much you will feel more benefit from the knee injecting if you do have it done a couple of days before and I agree you might try and plead to get it moved forward as you have a holiday break planned. Enjoy anyhow and take care!

    Neonkitty :-) x

  • PS. Vonnie is spot on re resting so the Kenalog stays around the knee. That is exactly why you should rest/immobilise immediately after as the rheumys say.

    As I am always so immobile by the time I have needed the steroid shots, i would do anything they told me ... If then said sit with your feet in a bucket of baked beans for the rest of the day , I would ;-) if I thought it would make the injection work better/more effectively.

  • Hi I'm fairly new to RA but have had three Steriod injections in bum over last several months, they started working within 24 hours with dramatic reduced swelling and stiffness. I am due to go on injectable mtx now with oral hydroxy.

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