• Adam Whatley

Cortisone Vs PRP injections. What’s better?

Cortisone injections have been heavily used in previous treatment to treat muscle and joint inflammation, as well as pain, especially before PRP injections where used. Typically used for moderate to severe levels of pain, cortisone shots are cheap and a quick-fix solution that provides relief, although this is short term and comes with side effects.  Now pain sufferers have more options to choose from. Both treatments are supposed to relieve pain so how do you choose with one?  Both cortisone injections and platelet rich plasma therapy have the same goal, but goes about it in a different way. These are the distinctions between the two treatments, which can help you decide what may be right for you. WHAT ARE CORTISONE (Corticosteroid) INJECTIONS? They're used due to the anti-inflammatory properties they posses, and are commonly recommended to patients who have severe joint pain and tendon pain. Like a PRP injection, cortisone injections are administered directly into the target tendon or joint that needs relief from pain. With corticosteroids being as powerful as they are, you are limited to the amount of injections you can receive due to potential harmful side effects. Cortisone injections are good anti-inflammatories If someone is really suffering and they might not be able to wait the lengthier time for a PRP injection to kick in, opting for the faster alternative. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRP AND CORTISONE There are a few vital differences between the two pain treatments, but maybe the most significant is cortisone injections provide temporary relief, while PRP therapy reduces pain and heals the injured area, working better long term. PRP treatment is a popular form of Regenerative Medicine that has healing properties that promotes cellular growth and tissue regeneration, slowly rebuilding the painful area over time. Cortisone shots merely mask the pain, albeit quicker than a PRP injection, but will do nothing to facilitate healing or repairs in the body. A huge downside to cortisone shots is that they also shut down natural healing altogether. The two areas corticosteroids 'help' with pain and inflammation are elements that actually encourage the body to heal itself. Pain restricts movement, preventing further injury. Inflammation is the body's rallying call to stem cells and other growth factors to mend the targeted area. Cortisone shots also prevent ligaments and joints from fully healing, resulting in the injury recurring several months down the line. There is also evidence of local tissue, nearby bones or ligaments to deteriorate due to the shots shutting down any healing in the general area. So is the short term relief worth this?! As mentioned earlier, you must be limited to  the amount of cortisone injections a body can take due to the healing prevention and degenerative changes of ligaments, cartilage, and joints.  PRP treatment, on the other hand, doesn't come with as many side-effects or risks. PRP therapy uses a patient's own blood, it's very rare complications will arise during or post-injection process. The growth factors and bioactive proteins in blood facilitate and manage healing too, meaning PRP provides both pain relief over time, and heals the damaged tissue in.

Patients often see PRP as a long term investment, as PRP therapy is known to postpone, and even prevent, the need for potential surgeries, this is why is very popular among athletes, alongside the side-effects of steroids which athletes can’t afford to take. People who opt for cortisone injections often end up needing surgery for their ailment, either because the area has been denied the ability to heal, or from the damage and deterioration from the corticosteroids themselves. While cortisone shots can deliver good pain relief chronic pain sufferers may be longing for, PRP therapy ARE the better alternative in the long run. Thanks to the healing properties of PRP, patients can both find relief and long-term health benefits from this type of treatment. To learn more about the PRP therapies we offer at our Dynamic Regenerative Medicine, contact us today.

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