A question about Cortisone

Last Sept I was prescribed Gabapentin for neuropathic pain because I’d had gone past the stage where previous, successful ‘nerve flushing’ exercises for my legs worked.

I had an appointment with my GP where she agreed with the Gabapentin route as long as I increased the minimal dosage over a period of six months. During that appt. where I also had my overall 6 monthly health check, my GP gave me two cortisone injections into the joint for a frozen shoulder. We think the frozen shoulder was due to a kind of RSI having been in a self-propelling wheelchair alternating with two hospital crutches after tearing ankle ligaments, last Spring.

I’d asked my GP if I could wait a week before starting on the Gabapentin just in case I had bad reaction-I had an eventful weekend planned and could bear the pain another seven days.

However, during those seven days, I found my mobility increased in that I could keep on going for longer than before and minus neuropathic pain. Since then I’ve lived my life to the full-fatigue allowing - but obviously unsure how long this will last. Being realistic, I doubt it will.

I’ve asked numerous people including my GP, MS Nurse and other health care workers about this disappearance of neuropathic pain but none have given a definite answer as to whether the Cortisone, being a totally different steroid than those administered for MS was responsible, although my GP did say with a wry smile as she injected me, “You never know, this might help your MS.”

Any views on this are very welcome just to satisfy my own curiosity about the situation.

Many thanks

Eiona x

PS Forgot to say that the Gabapentin remains untouched in its box


I have had 2 cortisone injections into my shoulder approx 8 months apart.

I didnt notice any change/relief in any other symptoms. Dunno if thats helpful or not! Sorry!

Ellie x

'Sok Ellie- it’s just that one person I spoke with in a local MS Awareness event run by the MS Soc recently was adamant that it was the steroid which relieved the neuro pain. I’m just confused because the steroids for MS as you know are different ones.

Did the injections help your shoulder btw? :wink:

Mine made only a marginal difference in the movement and pain - enough for me to raise my right arm over to swim a rather ungainly front crawl. As for moving it behind me, the only difference it made is that I can now reach behind far enough for err…toiletary needs. (Sorry for being a bit graphic)

Eiona x


My turn to be graphic! I couldnt move it at all-front (to wash face!), back (to attend to apres toiletery cleaning!), or up (to brush hair and more importantly get lippy on!)

Yes-it helped-200%! And touch wood, its been 4 months since I had the last one and still shoulder is pain free.

Ellie x

That’s good to hear. I’m hoping to get another shot myself soon but the GP in my practice who does things like this has gone part-time so it might be a bit of a wait. You must be thrilled though to get such good results

Eiona x

Hi again

Yes! Cos next step is surgery and want to avoid that! Something to do with muscle catching bone on my something or other reverse arc???!!!

Anyway-if 2 injections a year fix it then I am happy.

Will be curious to know if u ever need the Gabapentin!

Ellie x

Yep-I know of at least two people facing surgery and I’d feel exactly the same- eek! :wink:

As for the Gapapentin - you know how fickle MS can be, I may be living on borrowed time, in a manner of speaking, who knows if I’ll need it? I’m not too good with meds at the best of times, then again, neither am I good with pain lol!

A 'wait ‘n see’ situation as my MS Nurse said only last week

Eiona :slight_smile: x

Thanks for that Rebecca- quite reassuring in one way, but one step at a time, I think. Next step is securing an appt to see if I can get another injection, though obviously my situation isn’t as bad as others, for examle Ellie who posted earlier on.

Thanks again

Eiona x

Finally coming back to this because I had my question about Cortisone answered by my GP yesterday.

Prior to that I’d had a check-up with my MS team, reporting that I still had no need to start Gabapentin due to the absence of neurpathic pain. I’d mentioned that it ‘disappeared’ the day had a cortisone shot for a frozen shoulder - and the copy of the doctor’s letter from them which I received was quite encouraging in that respect.

I told my GP that I was still confused as to whether the Cortisone had in fact helped my MS. He was quite adamant that it had and went on to explain this - many years ago doctors believed that if they injected with cortisone, regardless of whether they hit the target then it reduces inflammation anywhere in the body, and that if MS is present it would calm down the inflammation in the CNS (Central Nervous System)

I’d emphasise this though to everyone - please don’t go rushing to your docs demanding this. This is my own unique situation.

As for the frozen shoulder, I have to get an X-Ray first before another shot will be considered - after all I’m 57 and there’s could simply be lots of general wear and tear after periods of self propelling wheelies or relying on crutches/walking sticks.

However, there’s been enough improvement for me to start my swimming regime again and get back to core stability exercises, not only to keep my mobility at its peak in general but because I need I’m also taking part in the Swansea Firewalk on April 24th- a fundraiser for MS Society Cymru/Wales. More about that in my profile.

Eiona :slight_smile: x