Musculoskeletal pain affects your bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, or tendons. It can result from overuse injuries, bone fractures, poor posture, joint dislocation, sprains, or direct impact. Whichever the cause, musculoskeletal pain can affect your overall quality of life. The good news is that chiropractic Poway offers treatments like trigger point injections to alleviate pain and restore function.
What are trigger point injections?
Trigger point injections are a pain management method that involves injecting local anesthesia with or without steroid medication into a trigger point. The injected substances help relax muscles and relieve pain. Trigger points are areas of tight muscle fibers that are often sensitive to touch or pressure. They form in your muscles after acute trauma or due to overuse. Injuries can cause muscle fibers to get stuck in a contracted state; sometimes, you can feel these knots when you rub your muscle.
Who needs trigger point injections?
You may benefit from trigger point injections if your trigger point pain has not improved with other conservative treatments like heat therapy, pain medication, massage therapy, and physical therapy. This treatment method is often used alongside physical therapy and stretching exercises to alleviate pain.
A trigger point injection procedure
Your healthcare provider may require you to sit or lie down on an exam table, depending on the trigger point location. Using an alcohol pad, your physician cleanses your skin before marking the trigger point with a skin marker. Next, your provider manually identifies the trigger point, pinches it between their finger, and stabilizes the tissue. You may feel some discomfort because trigger points are usually painful. The doctor inserts a thin needle attached to a syringe into the trigger point and repeats the insertion and retraction without completely withdrawing the needle from the muscle or skin. You may feel muscle spasms or twitching; your provider continues the motion in different directions until the muscles relax. Your healthcare provider will inject local anesthesia with or without corticosteroid into the area.
You can go home immediately after a trigger point injection and actively use the affected muscle. However, you should avoid strenuous activities like heavy lifting for the first few days.
How painful are trigger point injections?
Usually, trigger points are painful to the touch, so you will likely experience some pain when your doctor manually locates the trigger point before the injection. You may feel a sudden stinging and burning sensation when your provider inserts the needle to administer the medication. The pain may worsen when the needle tip touches the trigger point. While this is uncomfortable, the pain shows that the needle is in the right spot.
Benefits of trigger point injections
Trigger point injections offer pain relief for people experiencing pain associated with trigger points. Your doctor may recommend trigger point injections if you have not found relief with conservative treatments like over-the-counter pain medication or physical therapy. Besides alleviating pain, trigger point injections improve the range of motion and muscle function.
If you have further questions about trigger point injections, consult your provider at Gain Wellness Center.