Corticosteroids are used in arthritis treatment because of their anti-inflammatory properties, but recommended as a low-dose or short-term treatment when possible to minimize side effects. Corticosteroids are not the same as "anabolic steroids" (performance enhancing drugs being used and abused in sports).
For an In-Depth Explanation of Steroids:
Corticosteriods are prescribed in widely varying doses depending on the condition and goal of treatment. Used to control inflammation of the joints and organs in diseases such as:
Potential for serious side effects and adverse reactions increases at high doses or with long-term use of steroids. Doctors can prescribe short-term, high-dose intravenous steroids in some situations, or give shots or injections with drugs such as Triamcinolone (Kenalog) locally into a specific joint for relief.
Corticosteroid Drugs Include:
Sources: Corticosteroids, MedicineNet, 3/2/2005