View Full Version : Hydrocortisone cream bad for tendons?

04-07-2007, 01:45 PM
I've heard cortisone shots for issues like bursitis in the elbow can relieve pain, but deteriorate the tendon. Well, hydrocortisone cream on my elbows seems to help with the pain, but could it be damaging as well?

04-08-2007, 08:17 AM
Interesting.. Im not sure.. I had cortisone shots for tennis elbow a few years ago, which is inflamation of the tendons.. The only thing the Dr warned me of, is with to many cortizone shots, my skin could become translucent, which it did after 3 shots in a little over a years time. Those shots sure did work great though. Ill be interested to see an answer to this as well. Especially since I have tendonitis in my right elbow right now, and have been contemplating going to the Dr and try to get a shot.

04-08-2007, 08:52 AM
A dab will do ya. Short term limited use, no disaster.

But yes repeated use of corticosteroids (injected or oral or inhaled) may destroy a chronic joint.

Ice is best for repeated useage to quell inflammation and has no side effect if limited to 20 minutes at a time. More than 30 minutes could burn skin and other tissue.

04-08-2007, 09:56 AM
man, i'd steer clear of any glucocorticoids. after learning about how TERRIBLE they are for you in med school, i never want to take them again. in my opinion, they're useful for pathologic inflammation, or temporary relief.

glucocorticoids are pretty much the opposite of anabolic steroids- instead of building tissue, they break it. IMO they're WAY overprescribed by doctors, who frankly, arn't educated on how to heal people. glucocorticoids give temporary relief, but at the cost of prolonging recovery. a much safer option would be acetaminophen or aspirin... have you tried them?

that said, short term use is probably OK, and topical applications are much safer, and less likely to have systemic effects.

if you wanna see what glucocorticoids can do to you, type "cushing's syndrome" into google pics. you do NOT want to look like that.

04-08-2007, 11:41 AM
yes I have tried many things for this bursitis I'm just always looking for another thing to help. I do the ice, NSAIDS (although I like to stay away from these), various exercises etc.

That cushing's syndrome is very interesting though I must say. Crazy what this stuff can do.