Trigger points are painful, sore knots in the thin, white covering of the skeletal muscles. If you have this discomfort and want relief, a physical medicine expert can help you determine how best to achieve that goal and improve your range of motion, mobility, and function.
Let’s learn about trigger point injections, how they are administered, and where you can go in Wilmington, DE, to get the trigger point injections. They may be what you need to feel better.
What Trigger-Points Are?
Tender, painful, palpable knots in muscle tissue and fascia covering it plagues many adults. These trigger points are highly sensitive to touch and pressure–even the pressure of simply an article of clothing.
Trigger-points occur due to acute or repetitive injury, hormone imbalances, nerve impingement (as in sciatica pain), and more. Muscles feel extremely tight and hard, and the pain may refer, or pass, to another part of the body. For instance, a trigger point in the neck may refer to pain in the shoulder.
Trigger points may occur in any of the following body areas:
- Lumbar region of the back
- Jaw (masseter muscles which help you chew)
- Temples (causing tension headaches)
What Trigger Point Injections Are?
Trigger point injections place local anesthetics and/or corticosteroids directly into sore muscular knots. The steroidal medication relieves much of the inflammation, which seems foundational to trigger-point formation.
Sometimes, physical medicine doctors or chiropractors insert needles that contain no medication whatsoever. This technique, called dry needling, also may effectively treat trigger points and other musculoskeletal problems.
Finally, some trigger-point injections contain botulinum toxin. This is the same active ingredient found in wrinkle-relieving BOTOX injections. The botulinum toxins limit the movement of the affected muscles and relieve the painful tension.
How Are Trigger-Point Injections Administered?
After determining that trigger-point injections may work for your condition, your medical provider will manually locate the painful knot. Then, he or she will use a local anesthetic to numb the area, followed by the actual trigger-point medication–either botulinum toxin or steroid.
As there is some manipulation of the muscular knot during the procedure, you will feel some degree of discomfort. However, the pain pinpoints the trigger point. Additionally, your provider will guide the needle with ultrasound imaging for precise placement.
Afterward, you can return to your usual activities. You will notice some pain relief shortly, with long-term positive results in a few days. You may wish to take acetaminophen for pain and/or ice the injected area as needed. You may experience some localized bruising.
What Are the Benefits of These Commonly Used Injections?
There are many benefits of trigger-point injection therapy. For instance, they provide real relief, which lasts for about a month, and may be repeated as needed. Also, trigger-point injections:
- May be used after or in addition to physical therapy, massage, and other interventions as needed
- Cause no serious side effects
- Allow patients to resume normal activities as tolerated right away
- Are in-office treatments, and take just minutes