Effect of ice on pain after corticosteroid injection in the hand and wrist: A randomized controlled trial

T. W. An, S. L. Boone, M. I. Boyer, R. H. Gelberman, D. A. Osei, R. P. Calfee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This prospective, randomized controlled study was designed to determine if applying ice to the site of corticosteroid injections in the hand and wrist reduces post-injection pain. Patients receiving corticosteroid injections in the hand or wrist at a tertiary institution were enrolled. Subjects were randomized to apply ice to the injection site and take scheduled over-the-counter analgesics (n = 36) or take scheduled over-the-counter analgesics alone (n = 32). There were no significant differences in the mean pain score between the two groups at any time-point (pre-injection or 1-5 days post-injection). In regression modelling, the application of ice did not predict pain after injection. Visual analogue pain scores increased at least 2 points (0-10 scale) after injection in 17 out of 36 patients in the ice group versus ten out of 32 control patients. We conclude that the application of ice in addition to over-the-counter analgesics does not reduce post-injection pain after corticosteroid injection in the hand or wrist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-989
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery: European Volume
Volume41
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • Corticosteroid
  • flare reaction
  • ice
  • injection
  • pain

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