You seldom meet anyone who’s never dealt with some sort of injury or pain. Likewise, you rarely meet anyone who has not heard of or had a cortisone (steroid) injection. That is because cortisone injections are one of the most mainstream and most common first line treatment options. It’s the standard of care in traditional and conventional medicine. When NSAID’s, ice, or rest doesn’t work, cortisone is often the next recommendation. And in many cases, it’s often presented as your last option before surgery.
This is a sad reality that is frustrating for wholistic and naturopathic doctors as we are at Alliance Regen & Rehab. Let’s go over why.
The good news about cortisone injections is that they help reduce inflammation fast. This is “good” because this decrease in inflammation often leads to a reduction in pain (which isn’t always a good thing).
The bad news is that pain relief can last from 2 weeks – 6 months, depending on a variety of factors. There is lots of research and clinical evidence that this pain will often return. In a good amount of cases, a cortisone injection does not even help relieve the pain at all. Even worse, there is substantial evidence and research that shows cortisone injections lead to structural damage. So, that rotator cuff tendonitis, that meniscus tear, that low back pain – all could be made worse with a cortisone injection. It’s actually recommended that you not receive more than 3 steroid injections in one year. We would suggest not getting more than 1 in a lifetime.
But hey, when you’re presented with either no more running or no more golfing at all vs. a cortisone injection vs. surgery…. that cortisone injection may sound like a great option. This is ultimately a trade between immediate pain relief and long-term damage.
Luckily, there is another option, but you may not be very aware of what it is. This option is regenerative medicine and it’s on the cutting edge of medicine in the sports medicine world and beyond – even in autistic individuals.
Regenerative Medicine is an innovative field of medicine in which treatment options stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.
Most importantly, regenerative medicine is a natural and non-operative approach to healing compared to surgery.
The body sometimes needs “an extra boost” to heal and repair tissues, which actually kickstarts the body’s own repairing mechanisms to heal itself. It doesn’t shut down the inflammation and mask the injury, but instead it actually helps to heal the tissue itself. Another way to say it is this – the goal is to rebuild tissue rather than merely blocking the inflammation.
That sounds like a better option, right?
Regenerative medicine options consist of prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP), autologous microfragmented adipose injections, nerve hydrodissection, fascial restoration, and more. All of these options are natural, effective options to REPLACE and prevent surgery, and are very cost effective.
Regenerative medicine procedures like PRP, Adipose, or Prolotherapy takes longer to see or feel significant improvements. You don’t think repairing tissue happens over night, do you? During this time, you progressively load the tissue and return to activity with careful guidance by a sports rehab physical therapist.
Our Simple Take
If someone is presenting with a muscle, tendon, ligament, or other soft tissue types of injuries that often occur with overuse, sports, or again, regenerative medicine is the far better option for safe, effective, and long lasting results. It’s much better than using a steroid injection that often acts like “Bandage” for the injury.