-- Question: What are corticosteroids and how are they used to treat pain resulting from osteoarthritis?
Answer: Corticosteroids can be extremely helpful. They are derived from substances that we have in our body. And what we do, we use them to treat inflammation. For example, if you have osteoarthritis there might be some inflammation the joints. If you have rheumatoid arthritis for example, there could be also more inflammation. And what they do is stabilize the membranes of the cells and the vessels into the joints and decreases the extravasation of fluid into it. In that way they help with your pain.
They can be extremely helpful, but also if they are not utilized with care they can hurt you in the long run. So you have to use them under the supervision of your physician. They can be used as pills but also they can be injected in the joint that bothers you and that's probably the best way to go first and see if you can get good results with it.