Cortisone injections have been heavily used in previous treatment to treat muscle and joint inflammation, as well as pain, especially before PRP injections where introduced. Typically used for moderate to severe levels of pain, cortisone injections are a quick solution that can provide some relief, although this is short term and can come with unwanted side effects.
Now pain sufferers have more options to choose from, one popular treatment being platelet rich plasma (PRP). Both cortisone and PRP treatments are used to relieve pain, so how do you choose between the two options? Both cortisone injections and PRP 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?
Cortisone injections are used due to the anti-inflammatory properties they posses, and are commonly recommended to patients who have severe joint pain. Like a PRP injection, cortisone injections are administered directly into the target tissue 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 such as tissue weakening. Cortisone injections are a good anti-inflammatory treatment 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 can provide temporary pain relief, while PRP therapy reduces pain and stimulated healing of damaged tissue, working better long term. PRP treatment is a very popular form of Regenerative Medicine that has healing properties that promotes cellular growth and tissue regeneration, gradually facilitating repair of damaged and inflamed tissue. Cortisone shots merely mask the pain, albeit can be a quicker response in some cases 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, thus, compromising tissue repair. 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 pain 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, is very simple and safe, and does not come with as many side-effects or risks. 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 not 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, 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.
Where is the clinical evidence?! Please see link below: What Is The Difference Between Cortisone & PRP Injection, and what is the most effective?
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Don’t let joint pain, joint damage, sports injuries or arthritis get in the way of allowing you to do what you want. Schedule a consultation at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine today, and let us treat your condition, provide pain relief and get you back to your full and active lifestyle. We have clinics operating out of Solihull (Henley-In-Arden) and Birmingham (Edgbaston).
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