how long after cortisone shot can you exercise?

Wondering how long after cortisone shot can you exercise? Find out everything you need to know about resuming your workout routine post-injection, from timelines to precautions!


So, you’ve just had a cortisone shot, and you’re eager to hit the gym or get back to your favorite workout routine. But hold on a minute! Before you lace up those sneakers or grab those dumbbells, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of exercising after a cortisone shot. How long after cortisone shot can you exercise? What precautions should you take? Let’s dive into this guide to find out!

Understanding Cortisone Shots: A Brief Overview

Before we jump into the exercise aspect, let’s quickly go over what a cortisone shot is and why you might need one.

  1. What is a Cortisone Shot?
    • A cortisone shot, also known as a corticosteroid injection, involves injecting corticosteroid medication into a specific area of your body to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  2. Why Might You Need a Cortisone Shot?
    • Cortisone shots are commonly used to treat various conditions, including arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, and certain types of joint pain.

Now that we have a basic understanding, let’s address the burning question: How long after cortisone shot can you exercise?

Photo of Woman Stretching

How Long After Cortisone Shot Can You Exercise?

You’re itching to get back into your workout routine, but it’s crucial to give your body the time it needs to heal properly after a cortisone shot. So, how long do you need to wait before hitting the gym again?

Factors Affecting Recovery Time

The time it takes to resume exercise after a cortisone shot can vary depending on several factors:

  1. Injection Site: The location of the cortisone shot plays a significant role. Shots in weight-bearing joints like the knees may require more downtime compared to shots in less-used areas.
  2. Underlying Condition: The severity of your underlying condition and your body’s response to the cortisone injection can impact recovery time.
  3. Individual Healing Rate: Everyone’s body is different, so what works for one person may not be the same for another. Listen to your body and consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

General Guidelines for Resuming Exercise

While specific timelines may vary, here are some general guidelines to consider when resuming exercise after a cortisone shot:

  1. Wait 24 to 48 Hours: Give your body at least 24 to 48 hours of rest after the cortisone injection before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
  2. Start Slow: When you do resume exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity over time. This allows your body to adjust and reduces the risk of injury.
  3. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after exercise. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult your healthcare provider.
  4. Avoid High-Impact Activities: Depending on the injection site, you may need to avoid high-impact activities like running or jumping for a period of time.
  5. Consider Alternative Workouts: If your usual workout routine involves activities that put stress on the injected area, consider alternative workouts that are gentler on your body.


1. Can I exercise immediately after a cortisone shot?

No, it’s generally recommended to wait at least 24 to 48 hours before resuming exercise to allow the medication to take effect and reduce the risk of complications.

2. What exercises can I do after a cortisone shot?

Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, and gentle stretching are usually safe to do after a cortisone shot. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid activities that cause pain or discomfort.

3. How long does it take for cortisone shot side effects to go away?

Side effects of cortisone shots, such as pain or swelling at the injection site, typically subside within a few days. However, if you experience persistent or severe side effects, consult your healthcare provider.


So, how long after cortisone shot can you exercise? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, it’s crucial to give your body the time it needs to heal properly before jumping back into your workout routine. By understanding the factors affecting recovery time, following general guidelines for resuming exercise, and listening to your body, you can safely navigate post-injection fitness. Remember, when in doubt, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice. Now, lace up those sneakers and ease back into exercise one step at a time!

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