What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a constricted region located within specific muscle tissue. A trigger point will cause, that is “trigger,” pain in other parts of the body. Trigger points link or connect via nerve pathways. Thus, a trigger point located in your lower back may produce pain in the side of your neck. That area of the neck that is affected by the back now acts as a instigator for additional pain in another area, such as the head. In this manner, one trigger point may be responsible for the occurrence of pain in other areas of your body.
What do such pains feel like?
Pain related to trigger points varies. It may take the form of a dull ache, or it may be sharp and intense. Such situations may result in pulsating, ongoing pain; intermittent aching; quick, short, jabbing discomfort, or other types of pain.
When Is Trigger Point Injection used to deal with pain?
Trigger Point Injection may be used in various instances. It is beneficial in treating various muscle groups, such as those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. It may be utilized to treat pain associated with numerous situations such as disc herniation, sacroiliac joint pain, lower back pain caused by muscle spasms, and other conditions.
How does the procedure for Trigger Point Injections work?
Trigger Point Injections are intended to promote healing and reduce pain. After identifying the appropriate trigger point, a doctor will insert a small needle directly into the region. The injection includes a numbing agent in the form of a local anesthetic, medication, saline, and natural constituents. The primary objective of the injection is to relax the area that is being negatively impacted by the muscle spasm. A Trigger Point Injection will increase blood flow, help eliminate irritants, and make the trigger point nonfunctional. Thus, pain is reduced and eventually eliminated and healing is expedited.
Is treatment complicated?
This type of treatment tends to be overall fairly simple. Trigger Point Injections, which are given in the doctor’s office, most often take just a few minutes to complete. If you have numerous trigger points that need to be addressed, you may receive more than one injection in various muscle areas during one session. Side effects include numbness in the muscle region where the injection was administered, which should abate in about an hour. You may also experience stiffness or soreness for about 24 hours. Pain should be reduced in three to four days.
What if I’m allergic to the medication?
If you have an allergy to a specific medication, you can still be helped by Trigger Point Injections. Your doctor can use what is known as a dry-needle technique, which does not utilize medications.
How often will I need such injections?
How often and how many injections you receive will depend upon how you respond to treatment. Usually, after the first series of injections, a patient will return to the doctor after two to three weeks to determine if they need more injections. If additional treatment is needed, it will be administered with another follow is scheduled to assess progress.
What is the best way to prepare for a Trigger Point Injection?
Prior to receiving your injections, you’ll be given instructions concerning how to stretch the muscles involved in your therapy. After receiving your injections, it’s recommended that you perform stretching exercises every hour for the remainder of the day. Also, moist heat should be applied to the area of the Trigger Point Injections, as this helps to maximize the benefits of this treatment.
How long do the benefits of Trigger Point Injections last?
These injections are usually one part of a treatment program that may include regular exercise and physical therapy. Often, if all aspects of treatment are adhered to, one series of injections will suffice in addressing your problem. It is, however, important to realize that each patient responds to treatment differently, and that some, even if they follow all aspects of their therapy, may require additional injections.
With Trigger Point Injections are there any risks?
Of course, no procedure is without risk, however Trigger Point Injections are overall very safe. Side effects may include bleeding and bruising, infection, and temporary soreness of the muscles. Extremely rare complications include weakness in the injected muscles, which lasts about one hour, or a lung puncture.