Cortisone injections are extremely safe, but they do still have potential problems. If you are concerned about having a cortisone shot, talk with your doctor. While cortisone is a powerful treatment for many orthopedic conditions, there are usually other options that can also be tried. Many doctors will offer an injection as they are quick, easy, and most often effective. However, your doctor should also be able to offer other treatments for inflammation that may also be effective for those that cannot have, or don't want, a cortisone injection.
An assessment of extracorporeal shock wave therapy conducted by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (2003) concluded that "the evidence establishing the effectiveness [of ESWT] for musculoskeletal conditions remains inconclusive". In a review on plantar fasciitis, Buchbinder (2004) stated that "ESWT has been proposed as an alternative approach on the grounds that it may stimulate healing of soft tissue and inhibit pain receptors. However, the available data do not provide substantive support for its use".