If you have an overuse injury, such as runner’s knee, tendinitis, bursitis, or another similar condition, treatment from a professional medical team can help you to heal faster and get back to doing the activities you love. Your doctor might recommend cortisone, which is commonly used to relieve pain. Or, they might suggest that you undergo PRP therapy. Which one is the better choice? Both have their advantages, but in most cases, PRP is the preferable option. This blog post explains why.
What Is Cortisone?
Cortisone is a steroid that can be injected at the site of an injury. Within a few days to a week or so, you may experience significant pain relief and a reduction in swelling and inflammation.
The downside to cortisone is that it can only provide temporary relief; its effects may last for anywhere from 6 weeks to six months. During the window in which you are not feeling pain, your doctor may urge you to undergo physical therapy or take other measures to help your body heal.
What Is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a treatment that amplifies your body’s natural healing power. Basically, your doctor draws some blood and puts it in a centrifuge in order to separate its platelet-rich portion.
The PRP is then injected at the site of an injury. The platelets play an important role in the human body’s healing process. They get to work on actually healing the injured tissue, allowing you to enjoy long-term pain relief. Some patients notice significant results after just one PRP appointment, while others need a few sessions in order to experience optimum improvements.
Why Is PRP the Better Option?
Of course, every situation is unique. Your medical team will recommend the treatment that best suits your circumstances. Often, though, PRP is the preferable option for a few reasons:
- PRP treats the source of the pain and helps your body to heal, rather than just masking painful symptoms.
- PRP comes from your own blood, so it carries a very low level of risk.
- The relief that cortisone provides may be of shorter and shorter duration with each injection, usually due to worsening of the underlying injury. PRP does not have this issue because it promotes healing.
Can Cortisone and PRP Be Used Together?
The effects of cortisone and PRP used together have not been studied closely. Therefore, if you are interested in receiving both therapies, your medical team will likely recommend a significant waiting period between these two types of injections.
Should you get PRP or cortisone? Your doctor can help you to weigh the pros and cons of each so you can make the best decision for your body.
Meet the Practice
Under the leadership of Dr. Paul Tortland, a highly accomplished physician, the New England Stem Cell Institute provides a range of regenerative medicine treatments, including PRP therapy. If you are dealing with an overuse injury, our team would be happy to assess the problem and recommend a treatment to help you heal. Get in touch with our Glastonbury office at 860-430-2821.