Corticosteroids are steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal gland. Some corticosteroids can be used as therapies to relieve pain and inflammation (swelling), redness and itching from allergies, and to treat autoimmune diseases such as asthma.
For arthritis and other diseases of the joints, corticosteroid injections can sometimes ease pain and help patients stay active. Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are corticosteroids that are injected into the spinal canal to offer relief from disc herniations (“slipped disc”) and other spine conditions.
In sports medicine, corticosteroid injections are used to treat muscle strains and ligament sprains, helping athletes return to competition sooner than if they went untreated.