Trigger Point Injections
Muscle pain can be extremely difficult to tolerate, and it is estimated that as many as 12% of American’s suffer daily with chronic discomfort. Chronic pain is a complicated and stubborn problem, and can impair a person’s ability to live their life to the fullest.
Trigger point injections can help alleviate the pain associated with many chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, neck and lower back pain.
What are trigger point injections?
Trigger point injections are used to treat areas of muscle that are tight, spasming or inflamed. These areas contain what are known as ‘trigger points’ and are associated with many chronic pain conditions.
Patients who are experiencing problems with their trigger points often have a ‘knot’ in the muscle, which can be felt under the skin. This knot traps or irritates the surrounding nerves, causing the pain that seems to radiate outwards from that spot.
Trigger point injections (also known as TPI’s) are designed to soothe the trigger point and alleviate the associated pain. Some TPI’s are administered with anesthetic, such as lidocaine.
However, sometimes just the insertion of a needle into the knot can be sufficient to interrupt the tension in the knot and make it inactive. When this happens, it is referred to as ‘dry needling’.
What are trigger point injections used to treat?
Trigger point injections can be administered to improve the symptoms experienced in a number of muscle groups, including the neck, lower back, arms and legs. They can also be used to treat specific conditions such as:
• Myofascial pain disorder
• Chronic tension headaches
How are trigger points diagnosed?
A thorough examination by a qualified and experienced professional is required to accurately diagnose the location of your trigger points. Your doctor will palpate the muscles in and around where you are experiencing pain, so that knots can be discovered. In some cases, we may also recommend you for some imaging tests if we believe that an underlying condition may be the actual causes of your discomfort.
How do trigger point injections help?
Trigger point injections often contain a combination of medications that help to alleviate swelling and inflammation. This helps the muscle to relax, improving blood flow through the area which then promotes healing.
In dry needling, inserting the needle into the muscle will cause it to twitch, which then causes the muscle fibers to relax, inflammation to reduce and circulation to improve.
How often will I need to have trigger point injections?
We understand that all of our patients have differing needs, and as such, each of our treatment plans is completely unique and tailored to meet your individual requirements.
In many cases, an isolated trigger point should be resolved after just one injection. However, if a patient has multiple trigger points then additional injections may be required.
Patients who suffer from long-term, chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, may find that their trigger points reoccur as a result of their underlying problem. This may mean that they require TPI’s when their condition worsens.
What happens after my trigger point injection?
After your TPI treatment you may experience some numbness for several hours. It is also normal for the injection site to be sore for a few days, which can usually be alleviated using a heat pad or a cold compress.
We may give you some stretching activities to perform in the days after your procedure, which will help your muscle to recover by increasing blood flow to the area. You will be able to get back to your usual daily activities within 24 hours of your treatment.
Our experienced team are delighted to be able to deliver a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to high quality chiropractic care for patients in and around Scottsdale, AZ.
If you would like to find out more about trigger point injections, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly, knowledgeable doctors, please do not hesitate to make an appointment at our modern, comfortable offices.