Jake Peavy, the San Diego Padres ace pitcher, suffered a bruised rib cage on his right side while celebrating the clinching of the National League West division. A bruised rib cage makes pitching very painful and it showed as he was hammered in the first game of the Padres/Cardinals division series match up.
The San Diego Padres considered giving Peavy a cortisone shot for the pain so he could pitch later in the series, but decided against it. Bruce Bochy, the Padres manager said:
There is, I guess, a very small risk that if we did that, there could be some effects from it. I would say he’s out. Not 100 percent, but 99.
Effects from a cortisone shot? That’s a weird one.
What is a cortisone shot? The first thing you need to understand is that cortisone is a natural hormone produced by your adrenal gland. Cortisone is released into the blood stream when you are under stress. It’s fast acting and lasts a short time.
The type of cortisone used for cortisone shots is synthetic and benefits from being administered to the area that is feeling pain.
Why do you want a cortisone shot? Synthetic cortisone acts as a fantastic anti-inflammatory agent. This means that any tissues experiencing inflammation will be lessened. It doesn’t relieve pain as much as it relieves the cause of the pain. This is why cortisone shots are effective for joint pain. It settles the joint down and allows a more fluid motion and reduction in pain.
What are some side effects of having a cortisone shot?
- Cortisone flare – This occurs when the synthetic cortisone crystallizes inside the body. Imagine a liquid turning into a solid. It actually causes more pain than the initial inflammation.
- Infection – If the cortisone shot is not administered properly an infection can develop and would be very painful.
Cortisone shots usually keep the inflammation down for a couple of days, which is why professional athletes use them.
Interestingly you can receive multiple cortisone shots over a long period of time without any harmful effects. The one thing you do need to watch out for is a cortisone shot wearing off quicker than last time. This means that your tissue is building up a resistance to the effects of the cortisone.