Skip to content
| Blog

Timing for Injections to Start Working [Video]

Ask the Expert: Injections Video Series

About the video: How long does it take for the injection to start working?

Listen to Summit Orthopedics’ experts Catherine Choi, D.O., and Andrew Clary, D.O. explain the timing for different injections to start working.

Meet Dr. Catherine Choi

Dr. Choi’s approach: “My philosophy in treating my patient is to provide personalized spine education,  review comprehensive treatment options and work together in determining the best path for you.”

Dr. Choi’s education: After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, IL, she graduated with her medical degree from the Chicago, IL branch of the University of Illinois. She remained in Chicago for advanced medical training, completing an Internal Medicine Internship at West Suburban Hospital as well as Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation training at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Choi also participated in the University of Chicago’s Interventional Pain Management Fellowship in the Department of Anesthesia & Critical Care.

Meet Dr. Andrew Clary

Dr. Clary’s approach: “I want to learn about you, your interests, and help you get back to the life you want to live.”

Dr. Clary’s background: Dr. Clary completed his undergraduate studies in Cleveland, OH at Case Western Reserve University. After earning his medical degree at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, PA, he attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for both an Anesthesiology-focused residency and an Interventional Pain Medicine fellowship.

Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive spine expertise

Our back specialists diagnose spine problems and design custom treatment plans built on a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Most patients find relief through treatments including guided injections, specialized physical therapy, biofeedback, exercise, activity modification, and medication. When conservative care does not relieve symptoms, our highly skilled surgeons offer proven, evidence-based surgical options. Together with you, we will determine the right course of action.

Start your journey to a healthy spine. Find your spine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a spine consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MNVadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

More resources for you

Video Transcription

We typically tell all of our patients that the injection will start working within two to three days. And the reason we say that is because the steroids themselves, it takes about two to three days for them to kick in. Some patients, though, will feel immediate relief. And some of that might be due to the local anesthetic that’s used, because it might numb the region. But typically that will wear off anywhere from four to six hours. And then, I usually counsel my patients that please expect to be in your usual pain tomorrow. But after two to three days, we hope that you’ll start to feel relief. And that relief can last anywhere from a few months, a few years, or forever. If we’re doing a diagnostic test, and we’ll educate you about that beforehand, it oftentimes will take minutes or so before medicine to kick in – depends on the type of medicine that we use and the type of structures we’re trying to affect. Once that medicine goes in, you’ll know right away. And then it wears off fairly quickly, intentionally, so that we can get the answers that we need. In other injections, it’s a therapeutic injection and it can take a few days, usually two days or so. And if we use radiofrequency, if we use heat, those heat procedures to take care of the problem areas, that can sometimes take a few weeks after the final procedure is done for you to notice a benefit.