TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS

Treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome

While there are many opportunities where chronic pain can be attributed to a specific joint, disc, or muscle, sometimes it’s multifaceted. If you are experiencing pain that seems like it’s stemming from one particular muscle but also is radiating to other parts of your body, you might be a candidate for trigger point injections. Expert diagnosis and treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome by the Texas Pain Care team in Missouri City, Sugar Land, and Houston areas can adeptly treat the source of your pain now and in the future.

WHAT ARE TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS?

A trigger point injection (TPI) is used to help relieve myofascial pain, which is usually caused by a “knot” in your muscle (also known as a trigger point). “Myo” means muscle and “fascial” means fascia, which is the thin, white connective tissue that’s wrapped around every muscle. When the fascia becomes tight or restricted, it can feel like a “knot” in the muscle that is very sensitive to touch and pressure. These knots can form after one particular instance, or after many micro-traumas, leading to continued stress on the muscle fibers. This stress can cause the fibers to be stuck in a contracted state, which can cause pain not only in the muscle, but shooting pain to other areas of the body. These knots can also limit a person’s mobility because of difficult stretching the muscle to move the leg comfortably, for instance. 

A trigger point injection can help soothe this type of myofascial pain, and is especially effective in relieving pain in the neck, shoulder, arms, legs and lower back. 

WHAT DO TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS TREAT?

While trigger point injections can be used to treat numerous conditions, the most common is myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is a disorder in which pressure on sensitive points in the muscles causes pain in seemingly unrelated body parts. It occurs when tightened bands of muscle tissue create abnormal contractions in the muscle itself, possibly intensifying or spreading over time. The end result is trigger points, or small bumps or “knots” in the muscle that cause pain when touched, or even not touched. These points develop as the condition worsens, and indicate myofascial pain syndrome. 
 
While the main cause of this syndrome are unclear, factors can include repeated injury, overuse of the muscle, or diseases of the fascia or connective tissue. Autoimmune diseases could lead to the development of trigger points, as well as cancer and cancer treatment. 

While trigger points can develop in any muscle, the most common muscle groups are 

Trigger points can develop in any muscle, but the most common muscle groups that are treated with trigger point injections include:

The location of the trigger points create different types of pain sensations. For instance, trigger points located in the trapezius muscle can cause tension headaches, and a trigger point in the piriformis muscle can press on the sciatic nerve and cause numbness in the buttock and down the leg. 

 

WHO NEEDS TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS?

If you suffer from trigger point pain that has not been resolved with over-the-counter pain medication, heat and/or massage therapy, or physical therapy, then trigger point injections might be right for you. In addition to enjoying pain relief, patients who opt for trigger point injections can utilize physical therapy and stretching methods more effectively, furthering the effects of the injection. 

Before a pain care specialist will recommend trigger point injections, he/she will first perform a physical exam to find the cause of pain and also rule out other possible causes of pain, including muscle strain, bodily structural causes, medical issues with the spinal column (degenerative arthritis, spinal stenosis or herniated disc), or pain from a pinched nerve (radiculopathy). 

Trigger points can also be found in patients who have experienced or are currently experiencing a range of other conditions and factors, such as: 

It’s important to note that, regardless of the root cause, myofascial pain and trigger points are very common. The Texas Pain Care pain management specialists are adept at diagnosing and treating myofascial pain, which generally includes a combination of trigger point injections and/or physical therapy and stretching exercises.

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