PAIN After Cortisone Injection?

Cortisone Shot ElbowI am having real PAIN after cortisone injection. I just got a cortisone shot yesterday afternoon for my tennis “elbow”, and within 1 hour my arm/elbow hurt way worse than before the shot.

24 hrs later it’s killing me! The pain in unbearable..Ive been icing it, taking Vicodin and still no relief.

How long does this so called “cortisone flare” last. Ive got work to do, and I hurt so much!

I wish the doc would have told me of possible side effects.. 5 weeks.. is the pain from the shot, or your original existing pain?

Aron’s Tip:

Cortisone For Tennis Elbow


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  1. barb s, 17 August, 2009

    My husband had a cortisone shot for his tennis elbow too. He said it didn’t hurt at all when he received the shot. About 6 hours later when the freezing wore off he took himself to the hospital for some painkillers. It was really painful for 2 days (he said it was worse than when he broke his arm) By the 3rd day it was getting better. Now it has been 14 yrs and he’s never had another problem with his elbow.
    Hang in there

  2. Walkerfire, 17 August, 2009

    I have never hurt like you are saying after any of my shots. Call the doctor, something is not right.

  3. That Girl, 17 August, 2009

    good question, i got a cortisone shot 5 wks ago and still extreme pain. my Dr told me the pain would go away in 3 days if the shot worked… obviously it didn’t for me. keep calling your Dr. i don’t know what to tell you but i know what you are going through and hopefully you wont be cut off from your vicodins, because then well good luck if that does happen.

  4. Raysean, 22 February, 2011

    I just got the shot in my knee like 6 hours ago and omg I can’t even walk now. Pain pills are for the weak hooah.

  5. LISA JONES, 05 March, 2011

    I got a cortisoneshot in my elbow today.Iwastold it would contain local anestetic however within 15 minutes of having it my elbow hurt more than when I broke it 5 years ago. 12 hrs on and its feeling a little better, hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be almost pain free, have suffered for 7 weeks!

  6. LISA JONES, 05 March, 2011

    Elbow feels alittle better today, 24 hrs after my shot however I have a rash aroud the area of the cortisone injection

  7. Raels15, 13 April, 2011

    I had cortisone injection on my elbow nearly a week ago and still swollen and sore below the injection site.Apparently I have a tear as well as tennis elbow. Would this pain be because of the tear or should I seek medical advice

  8. Carrie, 20 April, 2011

    I just had a cortisone shot in my elbow yesterday, the intial shot about killed me-then on my way home the pain began. It has intensified by about 40% overnight..and I can’t even use my arm. It’s unbearable. Help! I am about to call them when they open, but wanted to know if this was normal or not? The pain shoots up my arm into my hand and the whole arm is in severe pain. I thought cortisone was supposed to take away the pain. This is much worse than I was experiencing prior to getting the shot.

  9. mike, 17 June, 2011

    i am suffering from a severe case of “trigger finger” which is when the affected finger or fingers get stuck closed after making a fist and when you try to open your hand it hurts very badly.So yesterday I got a cortisone shot and this morning i woke up with severe pain. I recently started a new job and am still in my probation period and already having trouble. I fear they will not hire me b/c of the problems with my hand so far.

  10. Dana, 15 July, 2011

    Well I am glad to hear I am not alone! Excruiating pain, worse then the tennis elbow. Will keep you posted as well as watch everyones progress.

  11. caitlyn, 04 August, 2011

    I received a cortisone injection in my wrist at 3 pm yesterday it is now 4am and i feel like my wrist is broken. It never hurt this bad before. I cant move in the slightest bit without sharp pains.i have torn ligaments and tendons and the doc wanted to try this first.

  12. Carol, 09 August, 2011

    I’ve just had the cortisone injection for tennis elbow and all i can say is the pain of the injection (which in itself was the worst pain i’ve encountered) has now been surpassed by the pain i’m now feeling from my elbow to my finger tips ouch 🙁 i really hope this does not last long, god i can’t stand it. Massaging the mucsles in the arm seems to give a couple of seconds of relief so that’s what i’ll be doing for next 24 hours by the looks of it. i’ll update tomorrow….

  13. Tara, 10 August, 2011

    I got a cortizone shot in my elbow two days ago it hurt very bad but the after effects are KILLING me. SO frustrating not being able to do anything!!! I also have a three year old. My forearm feels as though someone took a hammer to it… Im hanging in there though I know it”ll feel better soon….

  14. Spencer, 19 August, 2011

    I had the injection yesterday in my elbow after tolerating tennis elbow for a few months. Within an hour the pain was so severe i would have gone to the er, but could not drive. I barely made it thru the night.

    The doctor told me i woud have dscomfort, but this degree of pain was comletely unexpected. I worked today, somehow, but if i had the luxury of taking the day off, i would have.

  15. Nicole, 20 August, 2011

    I had a cortisone injection into my toe joint today (I had two before this one by tue same doctor) but this time it was the worst pain imaginable during the shot. I actually screamed despite prepping myself mentally that it would hurt. I have felt a lot of pain in my life, herniated disk, broken bone, but this took the cake. Now I have greater pain in that toe and foot. Did he do something different? Is this normal? I’m afraid. I’m scheduled to go on a big trip in about ten days, and got the shot really so I would be ready to do a lot of walking while I’m away… A preventative measure more than a need for my pain level now. But now I’m feeling foolish. I shouldn’t have done anything. This isn’t even good for my joint! Should I be concerned that something went terribly wrong?

  16. Jane, 26 August, 2011

    I just had my first ever cortisone shot in an attempt to help a year-long case of tennis elbow. The doctor must have told me three times it was going to hurt. I was just thinking that he meant the injection was going to hurt, which it did, but it was nothing like what hit me about 45 minutes later. I actually was in the grocery store when novocaine wore off and the pain started. I couldn’t believe what I was feeling. It’s the worst pain I’ve felt since my ACL reconstruction. He told me it was going to hurt, but he didn’t tell me I was going to want to chew my arm off! I did some quick shopping and high-tailed it home. I grabbed an ice pack as soon as I get in the door and headed for the couch. I think I was actually whimpering. I laid there for two hours in agony until I finally fell asleep (I had been dead tired). When I woke up, the pain the had subsided somewhat, but it was still pretty bad. Sixteen hours later, I have a little better range of motion without severe pain, but the wrong move will send me reeling.

  17. Chuck, 27 August, 2011

    I’ve had elbow pain for about 5 months, finally went to my primary 2 weeks ago was diagnosed with tennis elbow told me nothing there was no fix. I went yesterday on my own to one of the best Orthopedic Surgeon in this area. His opinion was similar but he told me he’d give me a shot. Told me the it would hurt later, he should have explained the degree of pain.(). By the time I left the office and got to my car, it HIT me! Forget the pain chart 0-10, it was like 0-100! Like somene taking a hammer to your elbow. Taken 16 advil in less than 24 hrs, (4 tabs every 5 hrs), icing, still in excrutiating pain. I miss the old pain! went to get rid of it and ended up 100 times worse 20 hrs and going. Pray for me……….!!!

  18. NJ, 31 August, 2011

    I’ve had elbow pain from tennis elbow for 2 months and finally orthopedic dr gave me cortisone shot yesterday morning! What a mistake i can barely straighten my arm and the pain is so intense worse than what I was suffering with before! I hope relief comes soon….packed up one child for college today and the pain was unbearable making bed and carrying boxes and I have another college bound in 4 days!! Feeling better knowing that I’m not the only one with pain from cortisone injection! I have an extremely high tolerance for pain (4 natural childbirths without a whimper) but this pain from the shot is UNBEARABLE!!! ugh…wish I left it alone!! Need some prayers too!

  19. wc, 01 September, 2011

    Got a cortosone shot for tennis elbow and walked out and my arm felt great. Dr. did not tell me the good feeling would be from teh novacaine and that my arm would feel like it was being pounded with a ball-peen hammer. Should have checked online first. I cannot find an angle to rest the arm without it hurting.

  20. Elja, 01 September, 2011

    So glad I am not the only one. I have been searching the net today. I felt like a real cry baby today with this pain. Also had a cortisone shot for tennis elbow yesterday after walking with it for about 18 months. The pain is really unbearable. The doctors should book us off for this. I am definately not able to focus on working today! I would rather have 5 more c-sections before having another one of those shots! I also mis the old pain!

  21. cath, 05 September, 2011

    I had cortisone injection 4 days ago for tennis elbow. It was extremely painful getting it and uncomfortable afterwards. That was mild compared to what i suffered the next day. I felt like my arm was broken, even a slight movement had me screaming in pain. Tablets did nothing, ice packs didnt work and it was a case of grin and bear it and hope it would ease off. It did to a degree but even now 4 days later i have an arm more painful than the problem i was trying to cure! I am now signed off work for a week and wishing i had known more before and never had that injection.

  22. Pam, 10 September, 2011

    I just got a cortizone shot today in my elbow. I have been suffering from tennis elbow since march, to find out i had to get 2 of them cause i not only have tennis elbow i also have golfers elbow too. I am in extreme pain. I feel like my arm is being crushed. I didn’t think it would be this painful. Hopefully tomorrow the pain will subside. Happy healing everyone, i will be thinking of all of you

  23. Lindy, 10 September, 2011

    OUCH! Had my injection yesterday… sure enough bliss for about an hour and then PAIN! Been in bed the whole day, typing with left hand, right arm not functioning after that shot..good luck everyone, let’s hope we csn all ‘meet’ here in a couple of days with good news. 😀

  24. Sherri, 12 September, 2011

    Oh yeah… it hurt all right… but when I left the office, it felt okay… she warned me it would throb for 2 days. Hasn’t started to throb yet, but after listening to all your stories, I’m expecting it to start at any minute. Hope all of you feel better by now!

  25. Sarahlynn, 12 September, 2011

    I had my second injection into my elbow yesterday and I was in agony straight away. I was sore after the first injection but this pain is unbearable. I mentioned it to my consultant who at the time said something like I didn’t use a local anaesthetic this time it will go in 2 days,,Does anyone know what that means, is local anaesthetic normally in the injection??

  26. Ellen, 13 September, 2011

    Yup, just got an injection in my elbow this morning. The injection itself was not that bad, I was expecting much worse due to the experience I had with a previous doctor. Now it’s just very achy, and while the Dr. did ask if I wanted any pain meds, I said no. I’ll use Advil when I need it, and just deal. I’d rather have this temporary discomfort than the pain from the tendonitis. Hang in there everyone! Obviously, if you get an infection (injection site is red and you have a fever) seek medical assistance immediately!

  27. JULIE, 15 September, 2011


    I had a cortisone injection last wednesday for tennis elbow and now my arm and wrist are very clicky??? has anyone else experienced this?

  28. PAN, 17 September, 2011

    I took a Cortisone shot into the knee this afternoon, 3 hours later the knee is in pain more than it ever was… I soooo wish we all get well soon 🙁 Anyone having a suggestion can please mail me at, I am in shackles of pain and unable to even walk a tad 🙁

  29. Keva, 21 September, 2011

    Oh my gosh. I am so glad I found y’all. I got a cortisone shot for tennis elbow at 5pm. By 5:30 I was lying on the couch crying. it’s now 7pm and I’m in bed. I agree with the “arm hit with hammer” reference. Thus is, by far, the worst thing ever. 🙁

  30. Xoxoyc, 21 September, 2011

    I received a cortisone shot for a rotator cuff tear today. My shoulder is now so bad I can’t move. To make matters worse doctor has taken me off of workers comp pay saying I need to live with and work through the pain. I may have to use my own time because this is awful.

  31. Kimberly, 22 September, 2011

    I am so glad I found this website! My Dr. wants to give me a shot in the elbow next week & says it’s “no big deal”- she doesn’t want me to continue taking mobic for my tendonitis, so this is her solution.

    There is NO WAY I am letting her give me that shot after reading this!! I hope you all feel better very, very soon.

  32. Laura, 22 September, 2011

    I had a cortisone injection in my left shoulder today and I am absolutely miserable! The injection has made my pain 100x worse! It’s 2:30am and I can’t sleep. It hurts from my shoulder to my elbow. Even the slightest of movements makes me want to cry! I knew I should not have agreed to this shot…

    I’m to the point, pain wise, that I’m calling my ortho Dr as soon as his office opens for some pain meds. This is crazy.

  33. Anna, 22 September, 2011

    I’ve been in shocking pain for a day and a half now since I had a cortisone injection yesterday for tennis elbow. I was just about to head off to the ER but thought I’d do a google search. So good to see it’s normalish.

    Wow. That injection hurt. It felt like the needle went so deep it was going to come out the other side and then the real pain hit an hour or so later. This is much much worse than the pain I was experiencing with the TE. I’ve had to put my arm in a sling in an effort to stop movement.

    The Dr didn’t mention anything about pain before the injection and I will never go through this again. Hoping it will settle soon and also for all you others out there suffering …

  34. Kim, 01 October, 2011

    Ok steroid injection hurt – bearable tho, 1 hour after OMG!!! Yup it certainly hurt. Was “broken arm” pain! Good thing for me is 12 hours later NO pain! Was worth it so don’t despair, not everyone has enduring hell post injection. Would do it again – finally looking forward to a good night’s sleep without that nagging pain!

  35. JAY C, 07 October, 2011

    just diagnosed with tennis elbow on Wednesday, have been dealing with it for a few months now, I to opted for the shot at my ortho’s office, what a mistake, the 1st hour was amazing, then it HIT, the pain was unbearable, i missed two days of work which i have never done in 26 years outside of vacations and i could really use one now. Now knowing this may never go away i am seriously considering surgery, any thoughts or has anyone had this procedure, music is my passion and yes i play the drums, IT IS KILLING ME NOT TO BE ABLE TO CREATE, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS IN FOR…wishing speedy recovery to all.

  36. Bill, 14 October, 2011

    I have had tennis elbow for a couple of months now and received a cortisone shot in the tendon administered by a orthopedic surgeon yesterday. I literally jumped when the cortisone was injected. Most painful shot I’ve ever had and my elbow hurts much more now than before the injection.

    Oddly enough, I’ve had a few cortisone injections for the same many years ago, the result of playing a lot of tennis and weight lifting, and had miraculously good results without the pain that accompanied this recent shot.

  37. Brenda, 25 September, 2014

    I have had cortisone shots before and have never had an issue. Just got one yesterday in my elbow for Tennis Elbow. Hurt a little during the shot, BUT, like 15 minutes later I was in SUPER Pain! Cried for 2 hours, Ice didn’t help, heat helped a little, Oxycodone didn’t even touch it! 24 hours later I can still hardly move my arm or grasp something. NEVER AGAIN will I have this shot.

  38. Cheryl A, 31 October, 2014

    I wished I would have seen these comments before I had the cortisone shot because I had one in my wrist 3 days ago and the pain is unbearable. I woke up at midnight last night in the worst pain of my life and I’ve had 2 children. The throbbing, burning and crushing pain in my forearm all the way down to my fingertips was excruciating. I very little use of my hand, could barely take a shower or dress myself. Will never do it again.

  39. Kris, 23 November, 2014

    I’m so glad I found you guys. I thought I was being a big baby. I had cortisone shots to my heal yesterday afternoon and I can’t even put ON a shoe let alone step down on my foot. It feels like a a great big swollen U around by heel. You can’t see swelling but it feels like a brick in my foot that grinds my heel into the floor when I step on it. My doctor offered me a doctor’s note to skip work tomorrow. I said no—I should have taken it!!!

  40. paul, 17 December, 2014

    Had a cortisone injection for TE 48 hours ago and the pain is starting to subside didn’t expect this amount of pain,wish I had found this website earlier.

  41. billy, 20 May, 2015

    Thought i had a ucl tear in my left elbow, after mri it showed a tear in my common flexor tendon, thank goodness…. doc said he was going to give me a shot and that it would hurt, that was 6 hours ago and my elbow is hurting way worse than it ever has……glad i am not the only one, i thought i was being a baby….. I am truly limited now in my left arm, i can barely move of grasp a thing without intense sharp pain……. starting to regret the shot…..I am sure it will get better (Maybe) I thought that with the shot i would be able to feel better for 3 weeks….not worse…..

  42. DanH, 13 June, 2015

    My Ortho described it best. Your going to like me a lot after the shot, then after about an hour your absolutely going to hate me for about 24 hours, then you will feel better. He was right except the pain started in about 20 minutes.

  43. Shelby, 13 August, 2015

    I had the shot yesterday, shot was painful and then it was numb, I was thinking yes finally gonna be out of pain!! Ya I was just kidding about 2 hours later the pain started trying to be positive but can’t seem to think that this pain is better than the weeks of pain I was feeling. I slept for about 2 hours and have been up ever since. It good to hear stories that hopefully after 24-48 hours it will be all better. Hopefully I can make it that long ouch this sucks would rather have another child than this pain!!

  44. Christine, 12 September, 2015

    I just got shot in both hands weds right hand is ok just a little tingle had surgery. On my right hand like 3 years ago but lord my left got shot and I screamed so loud in the doctors office I was crying like a baby I have NEVER EVERY EVER felt a PAIN like that it shot from my wrist. To my index finger and middle of hand ….i didn’t have this pain before I got the shot I think he hit a nerve

  45. Dave, 05 February, 2016

    Glad and sad to hear all these stories. Had my 3rd round of injections for tennis elbow (I dont play tennis or sports). First one workd great, for about two months,came back. Second round did nothing. Suffred for 4 months. Went back for this injection, omg!! Pain following shot was unreal, arm as useless, incredible pain and immobility. Now on day 3 I have excruciating pain, a slight improvement on movement but still very painful. Im done with these shots. It as better before this injection. Im going to try accupunture. Calling Dr today to ask about this pain, its not normal.

  46. janb, 11 March, 2016

    i had a cortisone injection into my left elbow today. i injured it about 2 months ago lifting a saucepan with my arm straight.? sprain / pulled tendon. Never got a diagnosis and was sent for PT. Went away on a trip recently, missing the PT for 2 weeks. It became much more painful so I made an appointment with orthopedist as soon as I got home. He ( a very nice PA) X rayed my elbow, no fractures. He Suggested the injection which was only slightly painful. He first injected local anaesthetic.
    ABOUT AN HOUR LATER it was very sore, but I put an ice pack on it and lay down for a while. Now, about 4 hours later it isn’t bad, but I am taking it easy. Will update tomorrow..

  47. Carlyon, 01 September, 2016

    Just had injection in elbow for tennis elbow.thought I would die.that was the worst one I ever had.had shot unbelieving places.a hour late the pain got worse had a 2 he drive home,it feels like needle every where in my arm.can,t bend it or straighten it out.I called back to the Dr. Office and they return my call,says it could get worse before it gets better.if not better in two days call back.he never told me it would be bad at all.i want do that any more.I have had enough of that.I Don,t recommend to to any one.hope the pain quits soon.

  48. J Dog, 28 September, 2016

    Has anyone ever notted up after talking a shot in the bicep

  49. Dianna, 27 June, 2017

    So glad to read yalls comments! Had injection today on my elbow.. Tonight I am in worse pain.. Praying it will be better tomorrow!!

  50. Jean, 13 July, 2017

    OMG! Thank you all for making me laugh a little instead of crying in pain, I could have written your posts about the tennis elbow injection I got on my right elbow around 4:30 pm today. At first the injection hurt, but then it was over, and I got lightheaded & had to lay down for a few minutes. I actually felt a little relief while still in the orthopedics office. By 5pm though the excruciating pain started, way worse then the tennis elbow, good thing I drive with my left hand! I could barely lift my arm, iced it & took Advil which helped with the throbbing pain…now at 12:30am I can type a little but my arm is pretty useless and hurts when I move it, forget lifting anything or doing anything useful. Hopefully I can sleep & it is better tomorrow. I hope you all are feeling better soon! Wow, I’ll never do that again!

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