Trigger and Pressure Point Injections
When an individual suffers inflammation and swelling in a localized muscle region or around a joint, a trigger point injection may be an option their doctor recommends to alleviate the discomfort. Chronic muscular orders like fibromyalgia or chronic headaches are prime candidates for this type of treatment, which aims to reduce symptomatic pain.
A trigger point is a localized area in your muscle that has become sensitive and tight because of overuse or injury. This condition can cause further discomfort and strain throughout an entire muscle, often creating a cycle of worsening persistent pain.
Common areas of the body affected by trigger points include:
The causes of trigger points are varied, but many are a direct result of muscle overuse or trauma. While psychological stress can also play a role, performing repetitive activities like manual labor is a large factor, but not the only one.
Consider the additional contributors that can also be the root cause of a painful trigger point:
The diagnosis of trigger points usually requires a physical exam by your doctor. By pressing around muscle regions where you experience pain, your physician will try to find any tender knots or excessive tension. Because there are no specific tests to diagnose these uncomfortable spots, your provider will rely on your description of how and where you have pain.
Once the exam is complete, your physician will go over what trigger points you have and explain the difference in each:
These are spots in bands of muscles that are overly tender. They can cause unwanted twitching and radiating pain throughout your nerves.
Just as it sounds, these trigger points only activate when stressing another muscle. These are secondary to the primary pain area.
These muscle knots typically don’t cause discomfort, and you won’t know they are a problem until the affected muscle endures some form of stress or trauma.
When a trigger point flares up, you may experience additional knots and tender spots as a result of proximity to the first. These trigger points are nodules within a taut band of muscle.
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Trigger point injections take place at your doctor’s office and are a simple outpatient procedure. Your doctor will inject a local anesthetic to the area around the trigger point to encourage relaxing of the muscles and a numbing sensation. There may also be a corticosteroid or other saline solution included in this treatment to help provide faster relief to the affected tendon, ligament, or muscle.
While trigger point injections are beneficial for any muscle type, common muscular groups that receive this medication include:
Because this procedure takes just a couple of minutes, you can receive multiple injections for several areas at once, all in a single visit.
Once the trigger point injection is complete, your doctor will apply pressure for a few minutes to encourage blood flow to help the distribution of the injected medicine. Rechecking your muscle for soreness or any additional trigger spots that may have gone unnoticed is another part of the final process so that additional medication can be injected if needed.
You will also receive instructions on stretches to further treat your affected muscles and help alleviate pain even further. Most patients report nearly instantaneous pain relief when leaving their appointments, but it is advisable to still avoid overly strenuous activities for a few days after treatment.
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Individuals that experience painful knots in a muscle severe enough to restrict activity and flexibility may benefit from trigger point injections. Most patients who receive this treatment have already tried without success to alleviate muscular discomfort using more traditional methods like over-the-counter pain relievers, physical therapy, ice, and heat.
Other circumstances that may incline your doctor to recommend a trigger point injection would be symptoms like radiating discomfort, increased pain sensitivity, and muscular twitching.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedics, we only entrust state-of-the-art equipment and procedures in our aim to help our patients recover faster and live a pain-free life. Our board-certified surgeons and medical experts are successful leaders in the healthcare industry and believe that everyone deserves access to quality care.
Don’t endure any more painful knots and sensitive muscle spasms. If traditional treatment methods are not alleviating your trigger point pain, it may be time to speak with a physician about getting an injection to calm down these hot spots and let your body recover. Try our free Treatment Finder tool or call (866) 272-9271 to begin seeking the best solution to your pain.
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