What Are Trigger Points and How do Injects Help Treat Them?
You’ve no doubt heard of trigger points, only you’ve referred to them by a different term: Knots. That’s all a trigger point is; a cluster of muscles in your body that have tightened. They appear all over, including your buttocks, upper back, lower back, and neck, and aren’t always caused by an injury. Everyday strain and poor posture contribute to trigger points. Once a trigger point forms, it causes muscle spasms, pain, and loss of motion. Another way to think about trigger point injections is to remember a time when you’ve had a spouse or partner apply force to a knot in your back. It felt better, right? Your spouse can feel the knot slowly slacken as they continue to apply pressure to the area. Trigger point injections help Millersville, MD residents by replacing or augmenting massage therapy with a needle-based therapeutic method. The treatment attacks and subdues your pain by breaking up the knot with the needle itself, and the injection continues the work the needle started.
When Should You Seek Chiropractic Trigger Point Injections?
There are around 600 muscles in your body. Each performs specific tasks vital to your ability to walk, run, and enjoy athletic pursuits. The muscles closest to your musculoskeletal structure account for 60 to 70 percent of your body’s weight. That’s one way of explaining how important muscular health is to you. Chiropractors serve an important role in easing the pain of patients suffering from pain-related issues and musculoskeletal conditions. So, when is the best time to try trigger point injections? Millersville, MD residents should be happy to know there’s never a bad time to give it a try. Trigger point injections can help treat an eclectic range of conditions and reduce the pain associated with them. Give trigger point injections a try if you:
Suffer from frequent tension headaches: Thousands of Marylanders just like yourself suffer from tension headaches. In fact, everybody gets them. Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches. Trigger point injections can be useful in helping patients who experience greater-than-usual occurrences of tension headaches, as they can be caused by muscle tightness.
Endure symptoms of Fibromyalgia: Sufferers of Fibromyalgia fight three major symptoms that can cause a lack of enjoyment in life and prevent individuals from living an active lifestyle: Chronic pain, fatigue, and tenderness to the touch. Fortunately, trigger point injections are capable of reducing those symptoms.
Live with Myofascial Pain Syndrome: We don’t fully understand the causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome, but we do know it causes generalized muscle pain, tenderness, and spasms. Trigger point injections won’t cure the illness, but they will bring relief to patients enduring the symptoms, which can make a big difference in the quality of life sufferers of myofascial pain syndrome enjoy.
How Do Trigger Point Injections Work with Chiropractic Adjustments?
Chiropractic care itself helps patients find relief from chronic pain, but it is all the more potent when combined with trigger point injections. Think of it as a two-front war on your chronic pain. Our chiropractors adjust your spine, improving some of the root causes of pain while performing trigger point injections that precisely target knotted muscles underneath the skin. For instance, chiropractic services, as well as physical therapy, aren’t always effective at treating myofascial pain syndrome, but trigger point injections are. That’s why combining trigger point injections with your regular chiropractic visits can be a great way to kick-start your recovery.
What to Expect During Treatment
Trigger point injections are actually quite simple. Just like any other injection, you will feel a brief stinging or burning sensation. Some patients also report a brief uptick in pain at the location of the trigger point. However, the pain goes away quickly, and the procedure is usually very swift. Sometimes trigger point injections are done only once, and sometimes we’ll recommend you visit us a few weeks later for a second or third injection. We’ll make sure to communicate our thoughts with you clearly. Trigger point injections happen in two phases:
- Our certified nurse practitioner uses their hands to find the exact location of the trigger point. Trigger points are characterized by a taut band that stretches around the area. Your trigger point is where the muscle is the most tender.
- After we locate the trigger point, we thoroughly clean the overlying skin with alcohol. You will feel our nurse practitioner pinch the trigger point. We do this to prevent the knot from rolling away from the needle.
What to Expect After Treatment
Trigger point injections result in very little pain or downtime. Most patients can go back to work right away. Effective Integrative Healthcare encourages patients to limit strenuous activity immediately following the procedure. However, you’re free to resume your normal schedule the next day. You should feel immediate pain relief, but don’t be discouraged if the area where the trigger point injection was applied is sore. You might need to apply an ice pack for 15 minutes each hour and combine with over-the-counter medication until it subsides. We’re always available to answer your questions.
Our certified nurse practitioner might recommend you augment your trigger point injection shots with one of our practitioners. Certified nurse practitioner might recommend adding other services such as massage or physical therapy. Finally, in the immediate aftermath of the treatments, avoid:
- Standing for long periods
- Lifting heavy objects
- Heating pads or warm packs for 1 to 2 days after the shot. The increased heat causes bleeding.
Safety Information for Trigger Point Therapy
While trigger point injections are safe, some risk factors that could discourage you from seeking a trigger point injection include poorly-managed diabetes or heart disease, infection or fever, or pregnancy. Before proceeding with the treatment, we’ll meet with you and go over your medical history. Additionally, there are some side-effects you should be aware of. Soreness and bruising at the site of the injection are both common. Additionally, you might feel some muscle stiffness. Call Effective Integrative Healthcare if:
- Muscle weakness lasts longer than 24 to 46 hours
- You experience fever, chills, swelling, or any signs of infection.
Call 911 if:
- You’re having difficulty breathing
- You have a severe and persistent cough
- You are unable to control bowel or bladder function
- You experience arm and leg weakness beyond the injection site
- You experience chest pain
Reach Out to Effective Integrative Healthcare Today
Effective Integrative Healthcare offers trigger point injections to patients who need something extra to help them deal with chronic pain. Trigger point injections can be extremely helpful in reducing pain and inflammation at the site of an injury. While precise results are difficult to predict, many of our patients report a complete absence of pain following the injection and never need a return trip. But don’t be discouraged if you do need to visit us. Trigger point injections sometimes need several visits to be completely effective. Keep in mind they are highly effective in combination with Effective Integrative Healthcare’s other offerings, including chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy. To learn more about trigger point injections, visit our office today.