One of the most overused and least understood medical treatments is the cortisone injection. Cortisone has been used in multiple body parts and can be extremely helpful. But cortisone is but only one steroid and nothing more than the name of a specific “branded” product. It can be safely injected into various tissues such as tendons. However, steroid injections rarely fix the underlying problem. The injections provide relief by reducing swelling. If a person’s pain is due only to swelling, then a steroid injection feels miraculous. 

Addressing the Underlying Issue is Crucial

But frequently swelling is not the main issue, rather it develops as a result of underlying instability or overuse. These conditions typically cause swelling to reoccur even after the steroid is given. Also, steroids like cortisone are catabolic, meaning the tissues that are injected break down and become more injured and unstable the more a steroid is injected. 

Your Cells Can’t Hurt You

One of the distinct advantages of using your own cells (PRP or stem cells) to repair the body is that your cells cannot hurt you. PRP is loaded with healing and growth factors. Your healing factors when injected precisely under ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance immediately recognize damaged tissue and begin to repair them. You could inject the same location every month for a year with your own cells and the cells cannot hurt you. 

Regenerative Medicine Goes to Work on the Source of Pain

One of the important principles of regenerative medicine is not just to treat the pain but to evaluate and determine the underlying issues that generate the pain. If the instability is repaired then there is less chance of the swelling to come back. Understanding the source of the pain is crucial to repairing the problem and preventing it from affecting your life.