Should you go for PRP or Corticosteroids?
When you are in pain making decisions can be difficult. Check out this article to break down some pain management choices for you. First, let’s break down the two types of injections.
Corticosteroids are major anti-inflammatory injections that decrease pain and inflammation to an injury.
PRP is platelet-rich plasma and works at rebuilding and healing surrounding tissue through initiating an inflammatory reaction. If you have never heard of PRP let’s start there (Link to PRP article)
Let’s lay out the research a little and then talk about your decision.
- Most studies coming out on PRP show a comparable effectiveness to corticosteroid injections
- PRP does not wear down and erode tissue over time like corticosteroid injections do
- Some research studies show that long-term PRP is more effective than corticosteroid injections
- There is a limited amount of corticosteroid injections doctors should give due to its potentially destructive nature
- PRP injections can increase pain initially before the healing begins
Choosing corticosteroid injections is a short-term solution to pain management. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If your pain is debilitating and taking you away from living your life then a quick injection may be what you need to function.To heal any tissue our body goes through an inflammatory process, which allows for all of the proteins, enzymes, and nutrients to get to the site of injury. Without this inflammatory process, tissues cannot heal. Although corticosteroids can reduce pain they are actually working against the healing process. PRP in contrast initiates and supports the healing process. Platelets are like the coach of the entire healing process they are in charge of who goes where and when. The physical signs of the healing process are redness, swelling, pain, and heat so this is why it can potentially be a bit more painful when going the PRP route.
Corticosteroid and PRP injections do not have to be mutually exclusive. If pain is unbearable an initial corticosteroid may be the right approach followed by PRP at least 6 weeks post cortisone injection. If you are interested in learning more book in for a complimentary 15 minute consult at Cornerstone Naturopathic today!