Injury is a part of life, it is a lesson and reminder of our limits, but you don’t have to let pain stop you from living the life you want. Joint damage and it’s resulting pain are some of the most common injuries attended to by doctors. For all of the different injuries that exist, the field of medicine is making strides towards newer and improved solutions for joint rejuvenation and eliminating pain. Up until today, most physicians have been utilizing cortisone injections (and their derivatives) to treat a wide variety of ailments and traumas.
However, it is worth noting that repeated or frequent usage of cortisone injections can damage the tissues and cause unwanted side effects. Enter – PRP, or platelet-rich plasma. PRP injections offer a viable alternative to corticosteroid injections, without all of the nasty side effects. We’re going to briefly review an exciting medical study that pits the two against each other to measure their effectiveness. Which one will reign supreme? But first, let’s define each.
Understanding PRP AKA Platelet-Rich Plasma
Everybody’s blood contains plasma in addition to red and white blood cells. They are important for forming blood clots. Plasma also contains growth factors, which are important for regenerative medicine in helping to regenerate and relieve your condition. By concentrating and reinserting plasma into the affected location of the body, your plasma is being transferred in great quantities to the part of the body it’s needed the most to jump-start the healing process. The growth factors stimulate cell growth to allow your tissue to repair.
A Closer Look at Corticosteroids
A valuable tool for treating inflammation. This corticosteroid is a synthetic version of a natural hormone called cortisol. Cortisone is used to treat inflammatory conditions, including autoimmune diseases as well as joint swelling and pain. Its natural counterpart, cortisol, is produced by the body’s adrenal glands. This hormone suppresses the immune system’s inflammatory and allergic responses. The synthetic derivative cortisone mimics the action of cortisol but tends to achieve a more powerful – as well as exposing the patient to potentially greater side effects.
PRP vs Corticosteroids – The Final Verdict
In a 2020 Study by the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research, 40 patients were treated for osteoarthritis. Half of the group were treated utilizing cortisone injections, while the other half had PRP injections. Results were monitored throughout the treatment period, and up to one year after the final injection.
Ultimately, no adverse reactions were noted in either group. However, here’s where things get interesting. In the corticosteroids group, pain relief and improvement was observed up until week 15. After week 15, the CS patients actually started regressing – with pain creeping up on them once again.
Contrast this with the effects of the PRP group, who observed pain relief for up to 30 weeks following the final injection. Additionally, the PRP group vastly outperformed the Corticosteroids group in several metrics relating to flexibility and pain levels. This study proves the clinical efficacy of PRP and presents it as a superior option over corticosteroids for not only pain relief, but regeneration of the tissues and the restoration of activity levels.
Don’t Suffer With Joint Pain, RNP Has The Solution
Are you struggling with chronic pains? Have you tried corticosteroid injections with temporary or minimal results? RNP Regenerative Medicine offers better alternatives! Our tailored treatment programs are customized to your needs. We offer PRP injections along with post-injection therapy programs to enhance our patient’s recoveries as well as their lives. Dr. Roshni Patel has 15 years of experience in treating patients with interventional pain management and regenerative medicine for joint therapy. Call or book an appointment online to learn more about what treatment is right for you.