3 Reasons why Prolotherapy/PRP treatments surpass cortisone injections By Dr. Michael Mason-Wood
Have you ever injured yourself? Torn a ligament? Twisted an ankle? Separated a shoulder? If you weren’t healing and were experiencing inflammation, the likely treatment option offered by your medical doctor would be a cortisone injection. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory injection. But, what if this treatment is actually counter-productive to the long term healing effects you are seeking. Enter Prolotherapy and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). Prolotherapy also known as “nonsurgical ligament reconstruction” and PRP also know as “Platelet Rich Plasma” – are treatments for chronic musculoskeletal pain. The word “Prolo” is short for proliferation as Prolotherapy treatment enhances the growth and formation of new ligaments, tendons and cartilage in areas where there is weakness or excess scar tissue. PRP does the same thing as prolotherapy but uses your own platelets in the injection process. Any joint in the body (ie knee, shoulder, ankle, wrist, hip) can be treated successfully with prolotherapy regardless of when the injury happened. The treatment is also beneficial for most types of musculoskeletal pain. There are three reasons why prolotherapy/PRP treatments surpass cortisone injections:
- Prolotherapy/PRP rebuilds tissue and over the long term, cortisone can be destructive to tissue. With prolotherapy/PRP, the initial reaction of the treatment is localized inflammation triggering a wound healing cascade leading to increased blood supply and flow of nutrients and growth factors. This stimulates the tissue to repair itself by deposition of new collagen, the material that ligaments and tendons are made of. The new collagen then shrinks as it matures leading to ligament/tendon tightening and increased strength.
- There are no negative side effects to prolotherapy/PRP and cortisone injections can cause long term nerve damage. I recently had a patient who had a cortisone injection in January 2016 and eight months later, he is still experiencing numbness in his patellar tendon where the cortisone was injected. Other long term consequences of cortisone injections include1: thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face, higher blood pressure, cataract formation, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) and rare but serious damage to the bones of the large joints (called “avascular necrosis”).
- A prolotherapy/PRP treatment is not as painful as a cortisone injection while it is administered. While many are nervous about injection therapies, administration of a prolotherapy/PRP treatment is not very painful. Many patients are pleasantly surprised with the treatment, especially if they have previously had a cortisone injection. There may be pain and discomfort after the treatment as the healing process is activated, but this is typically short-lived.
Call 587-521-3595 to set up an appointment today – it is time you are pain free!