When there is pain present in the body’s muscles due to a condition called myofacial syndrome, there can be a great amount physical pain that occurs within the muscle areas known as “trigger points.” In some cases, the pain experienced can be so severe that the patient may be unable to live normally, and a trigger point injection can be an effective treatment method for providing pain relief. After certain techniques are used to determine if the cause of the pain is due to myofascial syndrome, a trigger point injection becomes a good alternative therapy.
When myofascial syndrome is present in the body, it causes trigger points of pain. The discomfort occurs because the pressure causes pain within different areas of the body, and at first, it can be difficult to distinguish the exact cause of the pain, as it is often spread through many locations. This condition is due to repetitive contraction of a muscle, which can occur with certain types of work, as a result of certain injuries, or due to excessive muscle twitching that is induced by stress. While the condition may only show a small amount of pain in the various trigger points when it first occurs, over time, the pain can become intense. Also, without the correct therapy, further damage can occur, and additional points of pain may arise.
While there are a variety of treatment methods available for this disease, such as manipulative treatment and spray and stretch therapy, trigger point injection is often the preferred treatment. This is because it offers pain relief for conditions that are chronic. While physical therapy can often help to reduce the amount of damage that occurs to the muscles, which leads to trigger point pain, if the myofascial syndrome is left without treatment, it can lead to pain that does not subside and continues to progress.
Generally, when myofascial pain is present, it produces the pain focally and occurs within a pattern, known as a referred pattern. During the treatment, the trigger points that are active and causing pain are injected with the treatment, and it works by making the point inactive, which stops the pain from occurring. The injection given to the area may be an antiseptic, which will work by numbing the area and stopping the activity. Another type of injection can be done by injecting fluid into the nerve, such as a medication known as protacane. This treatment method works to reduce irritation, increase blood flow, and settle the active site.
While trigger point injections can be quite effective, there are different factors used to determine if this is the proper approach. For patients with fibromyalgia or an endocrine diagnosis, this treatment method is not recommended. The patient must experience a high-level of pain in order for the treatment to be appropriate, as tenderness and a slight ache are not considered to be reason enough for the injections, and alternative options are often explored to offer relief or removal of pain, prior to using a trigger point injection.
Other conditions treated with trigger point injections include:
• Neck pain
• Low back pain
• Temporomandibular pain