Myofascial pain is a common cause of muscular pain, especially around your neck, back, and shoulders. "Knots" in your muscles from tension or injury often cause discomfort at the site when someone touches it or pain in the area surrounding the knot.
Treating myofascial pain on your own can be challenging, especially when you have several areas requiring attention. Trigger point injections, however, can significantly relieve myofascial pain with only one treatment.
Dr. Shachi Patel and the Delmarva Pain and Spine Center team specialize in pain relief, including trigger point injections.
Dr. Patel is a pain management and anesthesia specialist who provides customized care and personalized treatment for various acute and chronic pain forms.
The facts on trigger point injections
Trigger point injections are a treatment for myofascial pain in various body areas. Myofascial pain is often caused by "knots" in the muscles, which are caused by either acute or chronic trauma to the muscle.
An injury or overuse of a muscle causes the muscle fibers to experience stress, which causes them to stay contracted. The contracted area is painful and may be tender to touch.
You can usually feel the contracted muscle, which many people call a knot when you run your hand over the affected area.
Trigger point injections help ease myofascial pain by relaxing the area of injury in the muscle. Doctors use different injections to relieve the pain, including Botox®, corticosteroids, and dry needling.
Corticosteroids help reduce inflammation in the area, allowing the muscle to relax over a few days. Botox sometimes stops the muscle from contracting, causing it to relax and stay that way for several months.
Dry needling is a technique to reduce inflammation and allow the muscle to relax without using other medications.
Who needs a trigger point injection?
Trigger point injections are incredibly versatile and are effective for various muscular conditions. Myofascial pain is the most common use for these injections. However, they're also practical for other conditions, such as:
You may also be a good candidate for a trigger point injection if you have muscle pain in your jaw, neck, back, arms, or legs that aren't receptive to other treatments.
What happens during the injection?
You need to do nothing to prepare for a trigger point injection. On the day of your appointment, you come into the office, and we take you into a treatment room.
Depending on the area Dr. Patel is treating, you may sit up or lie on a table. She finds the location of myofascial pain, cleanses it with alcohol, and marks it with a pen.
She then pinches the area between her fingers. She inserts a sterile needle connected to a syringe into the affected muscle. Although uncomfortable, she inserts and redirects the needle until the muscle stops twitching and begins to relax.
When Dr. Patel thinks the muscle knot is adequately relaxed, she injects the area with a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid or Botox for long-term relief.
She then applies a bandage over the area, and you can go home and relax after the procedure.
What to expect after a trigger point injection
After you go home, you may notice some immediate relief, with the effects improving after a day. You may have some discomfort in the tissues surrounding the area from the needle, but it should go away within a few hours.
Dr. Patel may advise you to put ice on the injection site or take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to ease injection site pain and bruising.
Although trigger point injections are safe, some side effects include bleeding, bruising, and infection around the injection site. These side effects are rare, but you should know them after treatment.
The effects of a trigger point injection usually last several weeks to a month. If you're still experiencing pain in the site after a month, Dr. Patel recommends repeat trigger point injections for more permanent results.
Call our office in Newark, Delaware, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patel for a trigger point injection, or book an appointment on the website.