What is a Trigger Point and What are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger-point injections (TPI) are used to treat painful ‘knots’ of muscle (trigger points) that form when muscles do not relax. The definition of a trigger point, is an isolated spasm affecting just a patch of muscle tissue (not a whole-muscle spasm like a “charlie horse”). Often felt under the skin, the knots may cause localized pain and may irritate the nerves around them, causing referred pain elsewhere in the body.
Reasearch is still being done to understand all of the causes of Trigger Points, but the characteristics of pain and soreness often happen after an injury or accident. Sometimes Trigger Points can develop after surgical treatment and even because of chronic stress. Contact us today and we can talk to you specifically about your condition and let you know if Trigger Point Injections are the right treatment for you.
Trigger points can be caused by:
- Sudden trauma to musculoskeletal tissues
- Injury to intervertebral discs
- Repetitive motions, excessive excercise, muscle strain do to activity
- Lack of activity (i.e. broken arm in a sling)
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Nervous tension or stress
How it works:
During Trigger Point Injection Therapy, a solution of local anesthetic, saline, and/or cortisone is injected into the trigger point to relax the intense muscle spasm. Blood flow is restored to the area, flushing out irritating metabolites. Trigger Point Injections are used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. It can also be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches and to ease myofascial pain (chronic pain in the tissue surrounding muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.
After cleansing the skin, the treatment solution is injected into the trigger point using a small needle. Several sites may be injected in one visit. Injections usually take just a few minutes. A brief course of several treatments usually results in sustained relief. A dry-needle technique (involving no medications) can be used for patients with medication allergies. Numbness from the anesthetic can last for about an hour and a small bruise may develop at the injection site. Alternating heat and ice helps with any temporary discomfort. Often, stretching excercises and physical therapy is performed after Trigger Point Injection treatments.
As a leader in non-surgical injury and wellness care, Valleyview Injury + Physical Medicine looks forward to helping you and your family recover from pain and get back to an active lifestyle. Call us today at (503) 489-1998 or fill out the brief contact form below to start feeling better today!