Why Knee Injections Don’t Work?

I frequently get questions about knee injections and the main question I get about them is, “Why Knee Injections Don’t Work To Get My Knee Out Of Pain?”

I’m talking about injections like:

The feedback I get from knee pain sufferers range from

1.) The injection made my pain better for a while but my knee pain came back

2.) The injection made my knee pain worse

3.) The injection did nothing for my knee pain

The results are going to vary depending on the type of injection and what the goal is.

For the most part, and correct me if I’m wrong is you want the pain to go away, right?

It’s important to make sure to understand the cause and effect component of knee pain.

The cause of ALL knee pain is irritated nerves!

The effect is your experience of knee pain

With this in mind let’s look at the 3 different type of results and see what might be going on with each type of result.

1.) The injection made my pain better for a while but the knee pain came back – In each case this happens the injection contained some sort of “numbing agent” designed to numb the knee pain. The strategy with this type of injection is if your knee/body doesn’t feel the pain for a little bit, there might be a chance that your knee could heal in the mean time. Unfortunately, many times the underlying cause of the nerve irritation in the knee is not addressed so when the injection wears off the pain comes back.

2.) The injection made my knee pain worse – In this case as the doctor was sticking the needle into your knee, they hit the painful nerve or another nerve in the knee causing more pain. This is unfortunate however an inevitable “hazard” of trying to eliminate the pain with this strategy.

3.) The injection did nothing for my knee pain – Many times injections have no effect what-so-ever on knee pain. Primarily because the injection is trying to “mask” the pain or give the body something it no longer is providing for itself to heal.

In all of these cases the cause of the knee pain is the same. The nerves in the knee are being irritated. However, the injection is not addressing the effect of the knee pain. At best the injection is “hoping” that the effect of the knee pain will be different.

In all cases the knee is given a “crutch” in the form of the injection and not being “taught” how to heal itself. At best a temporary solution and at worst it makes the knee hurt worse.

Getting an injection for the knee is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is part of a bigger long-term wholistic strategy to heal the knee and keep it out of pain. Without the bigger long-term strategy knee pain, given enough time will eventually lead to arthritis —> bone on bone —> and eventually a knee replacement surgery.

the knee pain guru
the knee pain guru

Bill is “The Knee Pain Guru” and “The Best in the World at Eliminating Knee Pain without Drugs, Shots or Surgery.”

He has over 26 years of martial art and body work experience understanding movement and tensions patterns that lead to physical pain.

Bill’s believes the nervous system is the key to the body’s healing and the bridges the gap between what we currently know and the infinite possibilities of what we don’t know the body is capable of. Coupled with comfort this combination creates the shortest distance between a life riddled with pain to a physical life fully mobile and self expressed.

“You can’t think your way out of pain. Pain is not rational and doesn’t care what you think. You must feel your way out of pain through comfort. Through the weeks, months and years of injury and compensation patterns built up in your body limiting your movement and making you feel older than you are.”

His unique ability of identifying the blocks that keep people stuck in pain and skillfully removing them allows for lasting change and a new reality for his clients…

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Deborah A. Ball

I’m 68 and 1/2 and just this summer my right knee is very painful and it makes it hard for me to walk. I went to a doctor and he said you have arthritis and he gave me a cortisone shot. I felt different for 2 days but now I cannot walk again without pain, in fact it hurts all the time. I have tried different things, but nothing is making it better. Due to my walk, my left knee is also hurting. Is there no kind of microsurgery where they can go in and help the nerve not to… Read more »


Im at 57 yr old female with severe bone on bone arthritis in both knees. The right one is the worst. Tried Cortisone and hyralolonic injections which only offer pain relief short term. Now i have pain in my left hip so maybe its time for knee replacrment but my consultant thinks im too young.


I am a 67 year old male. I had surgery for a torn meniscus about 6 months ago. I still have knee pain. I have had cortisone shots and a series of the gel shots without any relief. On my last visit I was given another cortisone injection and prescribed meloxicam. Will this help or am I looking a a possible knee replacement?

Customer Service

Hi Roy,

What kind of support would you be interested in looking at? Bill has several different avenues that could help in finding you the answers you deserve.

For example, take a look at these articles Bill wrote…they may be helpful: https://www.thekneepainguru.com/meniscus-tear-treatment-a-holistic-approach/

Additionally, consider looking into some of his coaching programs for more help and support with your knee pain. Here’s the link: https://www.thekneepainguru.com/lp/knee-club-2020/


Lisa Scriven

Hi Mr. Parravano, my condition is the same as the lady above. I’m 50, bone to bone now. I have had all types of injections ( exactly what the lady above had). I can’t walk without pain now for more than 10 minutes, at most, at a time. I have been in the house not able to work since December last year. Oh, I have also gain about 20+ lbs of course because I’m not very mobile. So what may work for me besides surgery?


I am a 27 years old male. I tore my meniscus in the summer of 2016 playing basketball. I got surgery in March 2018, fast forward to today (December 2020) I have been dealing with a meniscal cyst for over a year now. I’ve had a few cortisone shots that helped me but the pain always comes back. I’m going to get surgery in the next couple months to remove the cyst. Have any words for me?

Customer Service

Hi Juan,

Here’s an article on what to expect after the surgery: https://www.thekneepainguru.com/what-comes-after-knee-surgery/

Hope it helps!



Mr. Bill Parravano, osteoarthritis in pain in the knee joint is physical and real.
It’s not in the mind of the suffering person.
The rubbing of two very jagged bones on each other causes very real and horrible pain……you know that.
So don’t tell us this pain wouldn’t or couldn’t defeat the sufferers, because it will.


The rooster comb fluid injection was completely a failure with me.
It didn’t improve my osteoarthritis pain.
However my cousin got great results with the same treatment.
I think it’s all up to one’s body’s action/ reaction to the treatment.
No harm in giving it a try


What specific medical training do you have ?
I did not see your credentials anywhere…

jean laubach

no injections helped knee pain

Jamie Clark

My husband got a prp injection and his knee hurts worse think the shot was given in the wrong spot


I had first baker cyst doctor gave me cortisone injection bake cyst gone but pain in my knee still there , Nothing coming in MRI Reports are fine but still has lot pain and burning sensation behind the knee , just doing exercise taking care of myself proper which is helping but pain still have , any suggestion you like to share with me? Doctors has no answer, I am 31 year old . I have no other issue blood text is also normal .


Thank you


Do exercise eat ghee , take physio watch your diet and eat
vitmine D , Calcium , sesame seed extra eat clean and try to walk at least 30 min . I tried it helped !

Paula voss

I have osteoarthritis in both of my knees I’ve had Cortisone and left me and gel in the right knee I am now walking with a walker and bandages on both knees and any kind of gel cream I can find everybody suggesting I get a knee replacement please help me I am in so much pain my life it’s a totally different life since this has happened I’m 61 years old

Customer Service

Hi Paula,

That sounds very painful…I’m so sorry. What have you tried, apart from the Cortisone shots, to find relief? What support would you like to receive from Bill? If you’re interested, you could sign up for the Knee Club, which is a group of people Bill works with every Monday and Thursday to get them into a place of comfort and back into their active lifestyles…https://www.thekneepainguru.com/lp/knee-club/

Bill also has some wonderful articles that talk about osteoarthritis, cortisone shots, and knee replacements! I’ll link them below for you…

Let me know if you questions!

Paula voss

I tried to walk I used to do Kevin Liles gay back and forth into town I used to ride a bike people used to admire how I would walk and ride my bike if I walk downtown and come home I have to take the Walker and by the time I get home I’m in so much pain and takes two days to recuperate lying down

Customer Service

Hi Paula,

Welcome to The Knee Pain Guru! I see you’re experiencing a lot of pain after walking Downtown…Would you be interested in receiving support from Bill? He would be more than happy to work with you to get you back into a place of comfort to where you’ll be able to enjoy walking and riding your bike again! Click here to sign up: https://www.thekneepainguru.com/lp/knee-club/

Let me know if you have any questions,

Kim Hardnick

I have a badly torn meniscus with a cyst and fluid on the need. I’ve had one knee injection that worked wonderfully. I woke up the other morning in horrible pain in the same knee. I received another knee injection over 12 hours ago and still have no relief.


Hi Bill, I Have problem of knee pain from one year , I had baker’s cyst behind the knee which I found last November , my doctor gave me cortisone injection which worked and baker cyst was completely gone , I had MRI after that in February 2018 but after injection I always have pain behind my right knee , My xra and ultra sound was normal but pain always , I have problem to walk and stand , taking physiotherapy now exercise helped but pain come back again and again like earlier . Please help me with your suggestion… Read more »


I’m 66 years old and have been running regularly for 35 years. Over that time I have had arthroscopic surgeries on both knees for meniscus tears. Last year I began experiencing pain in my right knee again, swelling and stiffness after completing my run, as well as the occasional feeling my knee was buckling. An MRI failed to pinpoint a reason for the problem, although the orthopedist’s report said I had a probably had a meniscus tear. There is also some arthritis in the knee, but the doctor called it minor. I’ve tried two cortisone shots which eliminated the pain… Read more »

Linda Cooper

I have chondrocalcinosis in my right knee. I have had some relief from steroid injections but would like longer term relief. I also have piriformis syndrome, sciatica and torn gluteus minimus in my right hip (chronic pain for the last 10 years, bursectomy, piriformis release, and hip labrum and some bone debriding) so ongoing PT is essential in order to regain functionality. Unfortunately my knee pain puts me in this Catch 22 situation; need exercise for hip, exercise irritates knee. I am 68, a bit underweight and eat a healthy diet because I have MS. Is any part of your… Read more »


I have PCOS so I’m alreadt on a antinflamatory eating regimin . I was very active at the gym, & was mostly doing strength training. Sadly I had to relocate back to the east coast, that’s where my troubles began. I know have such pain in my left knee ( ironically enough just one knee has asked you arthritis per the MRI ) No shot or NSIAD has even touch the pain. My activity level is suffering, as is my mental status due to the pain & the inability to be active . I also have 3 kids with NO… Read more »


I had both knees injected with gel 3 days ago
One us fine
The other is worse…can hardly walk
What can I do
I am 67 female

Erika Robinson

Hi. I 49 year old female who runs alot (about 10 years). Last year I competed alot, long distance as well as spring duathlons. Last fall I was diagnosed with patellar tendinosis and partial patellar tendon tears in both knees. Months of therapy combined with nitro patch treatment, then an EMG with no findings, then x rays and bones are normal…finally tried PRP for both knees. It’s only been one week for one knee and 2 weeks for the other. I know it takes 8-12 weeks to feel affects of healing, however I am worried that it may not work… Read more »

Patricia Doran

I am a 62 year old female. I received injections for my knee pain (in both knees) and they did absolutely nothing. I am very frustrated and would like your advise on what to do next.

Neri Melsmith

Love the article on water I don’t like it much and don’t drink much found your site when researching regrowing cartilage for finger joint. regeneration
Bone on Bone on right righ finger and not much avlar plate left. Dropped a paddle board 9 months ago and thought it would fix itself. Ultrasound people say it’s also degenerative and I must have done damage before now
Do u advise on fingers ? Who could I’m in Aust

Althaf Hussain

I was drained fluid from from joint space … after that fibrous tissue has formed… its creating pressure on nerves while sitting… what to do


I was found to have no cartilage in my knee and it is one on bone. I am 36 years old and want to try alternative measure to manage the pain and ultimately avoid surgery. I’d love your advice.



Both my knees are bone on bone. I still run however after 30 min of running I am in a lot of pain. I am 60 years of age and I am very fit and active. At this stage to get through running and bike riding I am taking nurafin anti inflamatories and Panadine forte to help with inflammation and pain.


I will not pay for advice from an unknown source. If this was rated by folks who have follow the suggestions might be different. When you are retired you cannot afford big sums of money on a whim of something not tested or recommended by peers.

Gayle Thomsom

I had a cortisone shot in my knee 3 weeks ago. It only last two weeks. So painful what next. Can not take anti-inflammatories. I fractured my knee when l was in my twenties skying. No in my sixties. Arthritis showed on exray.

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