How many times can I get a steroid injection?

If you found that a steroid injection has really helped with your pain, the questions you might be thinking are:  “How long will this steroid injection last?” and “How many more steroid injections can I have?”. 

The answer to these questions can be quite straight forward. But then again, nothing is ever that simple! 

Steroid injections: how long do they last?

A steroid injection can last anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months but some people may feel that it has helped them for over 1 year. Some steroid injections can also be curative, meaning that it completely resolves the issue. We have a dedicated page on this question here.

Frozen Shoulder

So how many steroid injections is Safe?

So depending on how long you get relief from having a steroid injection, you may wonder if you can have another one. If the pain returns then there is a few guidelines that most clinicians will tend to follow. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) look at the research surrounding all health care interventions and with regard to steroid injections, they suggest that we should avoid putting any more than 3 injections in any one joint in a year. 

This is to minimise the potential harmful effects to the joint surfaces. If you do need a repeat steroid injection to manage pain, then we usually suggest at least 6 weeks between injections to allow the steroid to run its course from the first shot.

Ultrasound Wrist

How do we maximise the effects of the steroid injection?

When we prescribe a steroid injection for joint pain, bursitis or tenosynovitis, we make sure we deliver the medication under ultrasound guidance to exactly the right location to maximise the treatment effect. That way we can be sure to improve the outcome of the steroid injection and hopefully not require multiple injections.

If you have had an injection in the past and would like to have a repeat injection but you are not sure its right for you, then get in touch and we can help advise you further. 


In summary everyone responds differently to a steroid injection. You may get relief after a steroid injection from  anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months or more. If you need another injection, we suggest we wait at least 6 weeks between injections before repeating. If you are needing repeat injections in the same joint, it is recommended you have no more than 3 in 1 joint in a year. If you follow the treating clinicians guidance after an injection, you are likely to have the best possible outcome. 

If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment, please contact us on 0207 636 5774 or email