According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 20% of adults in the United States have chronic pain. Chronic pain is pain you feel most days or every day for more than six months.
The experts at Apex Medical Center specialize in helping patients manage pain. We offer numerous treatments and can suggest a variety of approaches to alleviating your pain, or learning to live your fullest life even with some measure of pain.
One treatment you may not have heard of is trigger point injections. This technique is used to treat muscle pain specifically. It may be combined with other treatments as one element of an overall treatment plan.
Chronic pain has been linked to opioid addiction, so finding methods to control your pain other than opioids is very important. Trigger point injections are non-addictive.
What is a trigger point?
Your muscles and fascia tissue are made up of separate fibers. Sometimes those fibers bunch up and form hard knots that are extremely sensitive. Those knots are trigger points.
Trigger points cause a specific type of pain, called myofascial pain. Experts have found that releasing the knots can reduce irritation of the muscle and ease the pain.
What’s a trigger point injection?
If your doctor recommends trigger point injections, you might be wondering what that means. The injection is precisely directed into the tight, sensitive knot of muscle. It may be made up of one or more of the following:
- Local anesthetic to block the pain
- A corticosteroid to reduce inflammation
- Botulinum toxin A, or Botox®, to interrupt the nerves that cause those muscles to contract
The injection happens quickly and the pain should ease quickly. It may be temporary and in some cases, a series of trigger point injections is necessary to achieve sustained relief.
The risk of complications is very low. You may feel some numbness or slight soreness around the site of the injection.
You should avoid strenuous activity for a few days immediately after the injection, but you can largely return to your normal schedule.
Trigger point injections are most often recommended for pain in the arms, legs, lower back, or neck. Your doctor may perform multiple injections at different sites during the same visit.
Conditions that may respond to trigger point injections
Although chronic pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, trigger point injections are most often recommended for patients who have fibromyalgia, tension headaches, or myofascial pain syndrome.
If you’ve had injury or trauma to a muscle, performed the same motion repetitively, or even had a great deal of psychological stress leading to physical pain, trigger point therapy could be right for you.
Learn more about pain treatments
The providers at Apex Medical Center work to thoroughly understand your condition, symptoms, medical history, and overall circumstances before recommending a course of treatment. We often recommend an approach to treating pain that combines several different elements. For example, we may suggest trigger point therapy, along with targeted exercise or mind-body therapy, or some other combination.
If you’d like to learn more about trigger point therapy or about the various treatments and approaches available for pain treatment, schedule an appointment at the Apex Medical Center most convenient for you today.