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What are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger Point Injections
What is a Trigger Point Injection?
Trigger Point Injections are a specialized type of injection given to control pain. The combination of medication and precise administration results in pain relief for many people suffering from myofascial pain.
Trigger points are knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. Many times, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body.
Trigger Point Injections Help Relieve Myofascial Pain
Trigger Point Injections specifically treat myofascial pain. Myofascial pain is caused by injury or impairment of the fascia. Fascia is a web like connective tissue which intricately links every muscle, bone and tissue of the body. It even surrounds blood vessels and nerves. Myofascial damage is not revealed on regular X-rays and CT scans so may be misdiagnosed. Trigger points are the points of maximum pain. They can be palpated by experts.
How Do Trigger Point Injections Work?
Painful trigger points are deactivated using medications (lidocaine, traumeel, herbal medications and similar) that treat and/or anesthetize the painful points and mechanically break up the muscle knots. The procedure takes just a few minutes. In addition to local anesthetics, sometimes steroids are administered to reduce inflammation. Other drugs may be utilized if needed. Circulation to the sites treated is improved after injections are given. Increased local circulation enhances the area's ability to heal.
Side effects may include mild soreness during the first 24 hours, followed by a sense of looseness in the muscle group. Possible side effects of any injection include a risk for bleeding or infection so speak to your doctor about any potential risks ahead of time.
How are Trigger Point Injections Given?
- Your health care provider determines the location of trigger points by feeling for a painful small band of muscle tissue. The practitioner locates the precise location for administering the medication by feeling the point of maximum tenderness. Another test may also be used. It is called a "jump sign". Localized twitching may occur at the trigger point when it is palpated by the practitioner.
- The identified trigger point area is cleaned with an antibacterial preparation.
- The practitioner uses a special injection technique to administer the medication to the trigger point and surrounding location.
- When the practitioner determines that the trigger point is relaxed, the needle is withdrawn.
- Pressure is applied and the practitioner stretches the tissue.
- Heat is applied.
- You will be asked to gently stretch the area yourself after the heat is removed.
- The practitioner will make recommendations to you regarding post injection care, stretching and exercise.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point therapy is helpful for specific, localized pain. It is not used for pain due to fibromyalgia or other types of disorders which cause widespread discomfort. Myofascial often responds poorly to medications given by mouth. Trigger point injections provide an effective alternative which can eliminate pain or provide relief of pain for substantial lengths of time.
To find out more about Trigger Point Injections and if this therapy is right for you, please contact and consult with a local licensed physician who specializes in this therapy.
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