Muscle Pain? Why You Should Get Trigger Point Injections
Approximately 20.4% of adults in the U.S have chronic pain.
What most of them might not know is that they can manage the pain through trigger point injections. With the injections, they can avoid medication and sometimes extreme interventions like surgery.
Trigger point injections are still relatively new in the market, but they’re good alternatives to conventional medicine.
Keep on reading to learn more!
What Are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are the focal areas that trigger muscle spasms. They’re located in the shoulder areas, the upper back, and skeletal muscle. The muscles in the rhomboid and trapezium behind the shoulder areas are a common site for trigger points.
They’re the ones responsible for causing neck, shoulder pain, and headaches. At the point where the trigger point is located, there’s a palpable nodule in the muscle. The area is very tender and radiates pain when pushed.
Trigger points accompany musculoskeletal disorders like myofascial pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and low back pain. Repetitive minor injuries or acute trauma can be a cause of the development of trigger points.
What Are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections are jabs given for pain management. They work by releasing the tension caused by the muscles, hence relieving you of pain. The injections are done directly to the trigger point.
Most injections are anesthetic, a mixture of analgesics, or a corticosteroid. Depending on the condition, an anti-inflammatory injection can be given.
In some cases, a needle is injected into the trouble area without any medication. This technique, known as dry needling, is very useful in deactivating the trigger point and helping in pain relief.
Trigger point injections may not be very useful for every patient. Fortunately, in the majority of cases, the injections have proven to provide fast relief by helping the muscles relax. Besides, the procedure takes a very short time to administer.
Application of Trigger Point Injections
This form of treatment is used primarily for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. When used together with other therapies, needling works best for people with low back pain. However, more research is required on the effectiveness of the procedure on low back pain.
Another condition is tension headaches. The injections come in handy for headaches caused by stress or trauma.
The therapy has also been proved useful for heel pain and Parkinson’s disease. Heel pain caused by regular stretching exercises can be treated through the injections. Patients who’ve used the approach have reported a significant decrease in pain.
Symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease have been found to respond to trigger point injections. Patients show a significant improvement in their quality of life and motor functions. They also show improvements in mood and anxiety.
Trigger Pain Injections and Pain Management
Under normal circumstances, a physician wouldn’t recommend a trigger point injection as the first treatment option. The recommendation comes after other treatment options have failed to produce desirable results. The first line of treatment would include medication, physical therapy, and resting the affected area.
The type of treatment a physician recommends depends on the patient’s circumstances. Healthcare providers who administer trigger point injections include pain-management doctors, rheumatologists, and physical medicine doctors. Be sure to learn more about your doctor and the services they offer.
The injection is done in the healthcare provider’s office and takes a short while. The specific techniques used differ from one practitioner to another. Locating the trigger point is through manual palpation, where marks are then made on the particular site.
After locating the site, the area is cleaned with a skin cleanser. Some numbing spray is then used to anesthetize the skin. This serves to make the actual injection less painful.
The injections become necessary when a patient has an unbearable trigger point. The injection may be inevitable if the trigger point radiates pain to the surrounding area. If there’s still pain after the injection, heat or ice therapy may be used to numb it.
In other cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be used.
Frequency of Trigger Point Injections
Ideally, trigger point pain gets resolved after one injection. This is usually the case if the trigger point is isolated, identified, and removed.
Trigger points caused by more chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and myofascial pain tend to recur. In such cases, trigger point injections may be given regularly or as needed. For ongoing therapy, a mixture of aesthetics is used.
Where a steroid medication is used, the injections should be used less frequently. Steroid medication increases the risk of tissue damage.
Advantages of Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injection is an alternative therapy that comes with some benefits. It’s typically used to treat pain-related conditions using some specific techniques. It comes with several benefits to the users of the method.
The injections target the areas where muscles are tight, causing pain. They work by relieving pain and inflammation to help you regain your happiness. They also reduce the pressure the muscles exert on the nerves.
In the long run, the injections help in pain reduction, if not elimination. The procedures only take a short time to complete, targeting the main problem areas. Since a practitioner can stimulate more than one trigger point at a time, the muscles are forced to relax.
The procedure is a versatile option for pain in the back, neck, and extremities. They’re beneficial to patients who experience repetitive stress.
Living with pain can be unbearable, especially if it doesn’t respond to conventional treatments. Trigger points are a source of pain when they’re subjected to pressure. Healthcare providers recommend trigger point injections when they’ve done all they know, but the pain persists.
Patients with back pains, tension headaches, and Parkinson’s disease have benefitted from the injections. Most pressure points are on the back and shoulder areas. This explains why these types of pain are common.
The procedure doesn’t take long to complete, and the injections aren’t painful. The injections tend to sort most pain problems upon therapy on the first instance.
If you’d like to use this therapy for your pain management, consult your physician first. They’ll be resourceful in helping you find a qualified practitioner. Besides, keep in mind that more research is required on the possible side effects of the injections.
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