When tired, aching muscles won’t relax even after rest, there are few things you can try, such as gentle massage, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, and heat and cold therapies.
But when nothing you try seems to stop the pain, you may have a trigger point, otherwise known as a muscle knot.
To release the tension and stop the pain, Dr. Shachi Patel at Delmarva Pain and Spine Center often uses trigger point injections. A combination of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid, this treatment works to quickly stop your pain and help keep it at bay with its anti-inflammatory properties.
Trigger point injections aren’t for every kind of pain. It’s not effective for joint pain, surgical site pain, lacerations, or broken bones. But if you have tight muscles that won’t release and you’re living in constant discomfort, trigger point injections might be exactly what you need.
If you have any of the following conditions, you may be a perfect candidate.
Although pain in your neck and back can be the result of multiple different conditions, one of the most common is a muscle spasm. These involuntary muscle contractions can happen to just about anyone regardless of activity level or age.
You can reduce your risk for these painful spasms by:
- Staying hydrated
- Consuming enough potassium, calcium, and magnesium
- Stretching properly before a workout
But sometimes these muscle spasms just happen anyway, and when they hang on for days and weeks, they can interfere with your life. Trigger point injections stop the cycle of pain and spasming so you can relax the muscle and let it heal.
The widespread musculoskeletal pain that accompanies fibromyalgia can be unbearable. Though the cause is unknown, medical experts believe fibromyalgia may be the result of trauma, excess stress, infection, or genetics.
Fibromyalgia affects the way your brain perceives pain. When your nerves are overstimulated or repeatedly stimulated, this can alter the chemicals, or neurotransmitters, that signal your brain to register the sensation of pain.
Over time, your brain becomes conditioned to respond to the pain, even when there is no pain stimulus.
Typically, fibromyalgia sufferers experience pain all over their bodies, so Dr. Patel administers trigger point injections where they eliminate the most pain possible. She complements the injections with other traditional and alternative treatments to keep you pain-free.
Myofascial pain syndrome
Unlike fibromyalgia, which also includes other symptoms such as cognitive difficulties, fatigue, and sleep problems, myofascial pain syndrome affects only your muscles.
That said, myofascial pain syndrome has a sneaky way of causing pain in other parts of your body. This is called “referred pain,” and it shows up anywhere along the path of the multiple nerves associated with your trigger point.
That’s where trigger point injections come in to stop the muscle pain and the referred pain.
When trigger points occur in your shoulders, neck, or head, they can cause tension headaches. If you’re prone to migraine headaches, and tension is one of your triggers, then trigger points can set off a migraine attack.
In any case, you could benefit from trigger point injections, which provide immediate relief from the migraine episodes.
There’s no need to suffer from trigger point pain any longer. Most types of pain can be resolved in a single treatment, but some need more than one to do the job. Dr. Patel discusses your treatment options at your first appointment.
When you’re ready to explore the benefits of trigger point injections and whether they’re right for you, just call us at our Newark, Delaware, office to schedule your trigger point injection consultation.