Cochrane Summaries

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Corticosteroid injections for shoulder pain

Buchbinder R, Green S, Youd JM
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

Corticosteroid injections may be of limited short-term benefit for shoulder pain

The available evidence from randomized controlled trials supports the use of subacromial corticosteroid injection for rotator cuff disease, although its effect may be small and short-lived, and it may be no better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Similarly, intra-articular steroid injection may be of limited, short-term benefit for adhesive capsulitis. Further trials investigating the efficacy of corticosteroid injections for shoulder pain are needed. Important issues that need clarification include whether the accuracy of needle placement, anatomical site, frequency, dose and type of corticosteroid influences efficacy.

This record should be cited as: 
Buchbinder R, Green S, Youd JM. Corticosteroid injections for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004016. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004016
Assessed as up to date: 
19 November 2002