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7 Jedi-Worthy Bits of Knowledge About Corticosteroid Injections and Prolotherapy

A Shot In The Dark

7 Jedi-Worthy Bits Of Knowlege About Injections

Alyssa N., Village Osteopath
Dr. Nall uses several types of injections to successfully treat painful injuries and osteoarthritis. I put on my detective hat to dig up the dirt on two – corticosteroid injections and prolotherapy. This is how my quest for knowledge started:
Much like a light saber, these bits of information may not seem applicable right this instant, but should the need arise,you’d want it handy.
“Receive more knowledge, you must”

Corticosteroid Injections

“Cortisone” injections have been used for over 60 years to treat a variety of conditions. Synthetically produced cortisone (your body naturally produces the hormone cortisol while under stress) is injected to painful areas to decrease the body’s inflammation response, which usually results in decreased pain.


Proliferation therapy aka prolotherapy, or ‘prolo’ if you’re on a first name basis, is considered an alternative treatment. Therefore docs that offer prolo, like Dr. Nall, are a little harder to come by. A non-steroidal solution (see below) is injected to the area of pain or injury to create a local response that initiates the body’s inflammation process to stimulate a healing reaction.

“Share Knowledge, I Will Begin To Do”

Here are the 7 most important things I thought you should know about these two injections.1. Bull’s Eye Or Bust!  

Dr. Nall is an expert on ultrasound-guided injections (and recently lectured to other Indy DOs about it), and relies on them for consistent and precise placement to give patients a leg up on healing.  Not all physicians use image-guidance, and studies show that even experienced surgeons had a 55% accuracy rate without imaging, but a 95-100% rate with imaging.

I just don’t buy it when someone tells me that they can hit a two millimeter spot blindly every single time, given everyone’s anatomical variations and a pathology that could be present.” – Dr. Scott Nall
2. Cortisone Is A Legal Steroid – But Don’t Overdo It

Cortisone injections are completely different from illegal anabolic steroid injections. It is recommended that a person should have no more than 3-4 cortisone injections yearly to decrease the chance of unwanted side effects. Cortisone actually softens cartilage, weakens tendons, and suppresses the body’s natural inflammation process, which can lead to other issues later on.

3. If It’s Broke, Fix It

In a USA Today article, baseball player for the Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman acknowledges the short-lived benefits of cortisone injections, “It’s masking pain. If something’s hurt and you’re masking pain, sooner or later you’re going to have to do something a little more than a cortisone shot.” Cortisone can decrease your pain but does not heal your injury, and if ignored, injuries can worsen over time.

4. Cortisone + PRP = Power Couple

A study done on cortisone injections to the rotator cuff showed that the damage done to the tendons as a result of the cortisone was reversed with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Perhaps this dynamic duo could be the answer to pain relief without further tissue degeneration.

5. Inflammation is Your Frenemy

It’s the reason why your get that wonderful bump after walking into a wall (that’s not just me, is it?). Inflammation and pain are like a clingy couple – where one goes, the other follows. Cortisone suppresses the body’s inflammation and decreases inflammation levels. No wonder why people, including pro-athletes, turn to cortisone injections to alleviate their pain and get them back in the game.

6. Inflammation Has An Awesome Light Saber

You know how kids make friends with kids with the coolest toys, even if they’re annoying? Well, inflammation is that annoying kid with lots of cool toys – bear with it for a little and you will benefit.

Prolotherapy causes an inflammation in response to an injected solution, such as dextrose or ‘sugar water’. Dr. Nall uses Vitamin B12 in his solutions to further promote the natural healing response. The induced inflammation increases blood flow to the area, bringing in growth factors like fibroblasts and collagen to reinforce the tissues.

7. Prolotherapy vs. Cortisone = The Tortoise and The Hare

Cortisone ‘The Hare’ Injections can provide immediate relief, but is not the best option for the long-term because it does not facilitate healing. “Prolo” is the tortoise – patients usually experience pain from the inflammation response before they experience the long-term healing. If you’re looking for non-surgical options, be sure you’re seeing a doc that has experience with prolo and cortisone injections to help with short term pain and long term healing.

Who needs a light saber when Village Osteopath gives you the knowledge and physical capabilities to bust out your own Jedi moves?

Schedule an appointment, you’d like to do? Call us, you must. 

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Village Osteopath
15510 Herriman Blvd
Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 491-5272
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