Understanding Cortisone and PRP Injections: A Guide to Effective Treatment Options

Article by Matthew Hewitt

Are Injections Right For You?

In this article, we’ll explore various injections including cortisone, PRP therapy, nerve blocks, and Botox. These treatments offer benefits but also carry risks. If your doctor has suggested an injection and you’re uncertain, keep reading for insights and recent findings.

Cortisone Injections – Quick Relief for Inflammation

Cortisone, particularly in its HCLA form, swiftly reduces inflammation and pain. Administered easily in clinics or radiology centres, it offers rapid relief. However, while it mitigates symptoms, it may not address the underlying causes of inflammation. Cortisone is usually safe, yet it’s vital to discuss your medical history with your doctor, as repeated injections can pose risks.

Advantages of HCLA are:

  • Easily administered. Many GPs perform this in their clinic, and most radiology services offer this.
  • Rapidly reduces inflammation and pain typically over the course of less than a week. You may experience an initial increase in pain that should fade rapidly as the anaesthetic works, followed by longer term relief as the cortisone acts.
  • Can provide a window of opportunity for creating longer lasting benefits with other treatments which target the cause of the inflammation.

Some of the potential disadvantages of HCLA include:

  • Increased the internal pressure of the structure where it is injected – if this is being squeezed then it can be irritated in the short term as it gets larger for a period before the inflammation reduces.
    – HCLA may not treat the cause of the original inflammation. If your inflammation is caused by an activity, biomechanics or an underlying medical condition your pain may return the same.
    – HCLA may not be suitable with some medications or medical conditions.

Due to some of the potential risks of repeated HCLA injections your doctor may limit how many you can have in one location.



cortisone injection. PRP injection. Shoulder
Shoulder Injection In Action

PRP Therapy – Harnessing the Power of Your Blood

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasmaheresis) therapy uses your blood to promote tissue healing. Ideal for treating tendinopathies and post-surgical recovery, PRP leverages growth factors from your platelets to accelerate healing. This low-risk procedure might require several sessions but uses the body’s natural processes to enhance recovery.

Advantages of PRP include:

  • Very low risk of allergic reaction.
  • Faster healing times.
  • Utilises the body’s own systems to encourage healing.
  • Easily administered. Sports doctors and musculoskeletal radiology services offer this service.

PRP has some disadvantages, mainly associated with the blood sample:

  • Risk of bruising/bleeding.
  • May require multiple sessions for treatment.
  • It is less widely available than some other treatments

Because PRP is derived from your own blood it is not considered a drug, however it is not 100% risk free due to the nature of administration. If you have issues with blood samples this may not be the most suitable treatment for you.


Nerve Blocks – Targeted Pain Relief

Used for various purposes, nerve blocks provide significant pain relief, whether for surgical preparation or therapeutic reasons. They help pinpoint pain sources and manage post-surgical discomfort. However, potential risks like bleeding or infection require careful consideration and consultation with healthcare providers.

There are 3 purposes for nerve blocks, as outlined here:

  • Anaesthetic nerve blocks are used before surgery to help manage the pain you may experience afterwards.
  • Diagnostic nerve blocks are used to identify if you pain is coming from a specific nerve or nerve root. This can be useful if you are experiencing radicular pain or for determining the exact source of your pain.
  • Therapeutic nerve block are used to alleviate pain. This may contain a short- or long-lasting analgesic with or without an anti-inflammatory component.

Advantages of a nerve block include:

  • Temporary or permanent pain relief from the affected nerve.
  • Provision of a diagnosis if the cause of your pain is from the blocked nerves.
  • Reduced post-surgical pain

Nerve blocks have some risks such as:

  • Risk of bleeding.
  • Risk of infection.
  • Risk of affecting other areas than intended.

It is best to discuss the pros and cons of a nerve block with your GP and the provider.


Botox – Not Just for Aesthetics

Beyond cosmetic uses, Botox helps treat migraines, muscle spasms, and nerve pain by temporarily paralysing muscles. Although effective, potential side effects include pain at the injection site or unintended muscle weakness. It’s crucial to discuss these with your healthcare provider.

Some of the reasons why Botox is used include:

  • Reduced muscle spasm and spasticity.
  • Reduced occurrence or frequency of migraines
  • Reduced nerve pain.

There are some risks associated with Botox injections, of which here are a few:

  • Pain, swelling or bruising at the site.
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis outside the intended area.
  • Allergic reaction.

For more information on the benefits and risks of Botox injections, we recommend discussing with your provider.




Injections like cortisone, PRP, nerve blocks, and Botox offer potential benefits for various conditions but come with considerations. Consulting with a physiotherapist can provide a comprehensive approach to understand if injections are suitable for you.

What to Do?

Considering an injection? Consult your physiotherapist or doctor for a tailored approach that considers your unique health needs and the latest research.

Injection FAQs

Q1: What are cortisone injections used for? A: Cortisone injections are used to reduce inflammation and pain in joints and other inflamed areas.

Q2: How does PRP therapy work? A: PRP therapy involves extracting your blood, processing it to increase platelet concentration, and reinjecting it to accelerate tissue healing.

Q3: What are nerve blocks? A: Nerve blocks are injections that can temporarily block nerve activity to help diagnose or treat pain.

Q4: Can Botox be used for medical treatments? A: Yes, Botox is used for various medical conditions, including treating migraines, muscle spasms, and certain types of nerve pain.

Q5: What are the risks of injection therapies? A: Common risks include infection, bleeding at the injection site, and potential allergic reactions.

Q6: How often can I get these injections? A: The frequency of injections can vary based on the type and your specific health needs. It’s essential to follow a healthcare provider’s advice.

Related Articles

  1. Cortisone Injection For Shoulder: Rotator Cuff & Bursitis – Explore how cortisone injections can alleviate shoulder issues including bursitis and rotator cuff injuries.
  2. Shoulder Bursitis Treatment, Physio & Helpful Tips – Gain insights on managing shoulder bursitis through physiotherapy and practical tips.
  3. Hip Bursitis – Learn treatment options and exercises that strengthen the gluteal muscles and help prevent injuries.
  4. Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) – Discover more about the painful and stiff condition known as frozen shoulder.
  5. AC Joint – Acromioclavicular Joint – Information on the AC joint, including common injuries and treatment approaches.
  6. Effective Shoulder Impingement Treatment And Advice – Discuss treatments and advice for managing shoulder impingement.
  7. Anterior Ankle Impingement: Causes, Treatments, Tips & Guide – This could be useful for understanding treatments related to ankle impingement, though not directly related to shoulder or facial injections.
  8. Achilles Tendinopathy: Complete Guide To Injury Treatment & Prevention – Helpful for readers interested in broader physiotherapy approaches, including Achilles tendinopathy care.
You've just added this product to the cart: