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Before you bare your shoulder for a shot, try physical therapy. If you still suffer from pain after taking the rehab route, then go for a cortisone injection, says Brian Cole, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics in Chicago and team physician for the Chicago Bulls. And relax: Although cortisone is a steroid, it’s the completely legal kind. In fact, many professional athletes occasionally need injections to reduce chronic inflammation around tendons or joints. Typically, your doctor will stop at three shots a year; more than that can actually increase the risk of problems with your tendon, says Dr Cole.