If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain, it’s likely you’ve tried many different forms of medications, treatments, and lifestyle changes. However, without the right combination, it can seem like results are hopeless. Fortunately, with trigger point injections, physicians are more capable than ever before to finally reach those fascial restrictions that trigger chronic pain throughout the body.
Triggers Points And The Fascia System
Before you can really grasp how trigger points can benefit your chronic pain issues, you first need to understand what trigger points are. In order to help with this, you’ll also need to know about their counterpart, the fascial system. The fascial system is a webbed, lubricating system that stretches across all the muscles of the body. This connective tissue works to enclose, separate, stabilize, and attach our muscles and internal organs.
If you’ve ever bought a chicken breast, you’ve seen fascia before. It’s the white layer that encloses the actual muscle of the chicken breast. Now, think of this on a larger scale. The human body has the whole fascia system that encloses all of our over 650 human muscles. This connective tissues is very strong and won’t tear under pressure.
Triggers points are considered hyperirritable spots where there are taut bands of skeletal muscle. These bands get taut by overuse due to repetitive movements or heavy lifting. When these muscle bands get too tight, so does the fascia surrounding the muscles where the trigger point is located at. This can create massive discomfort for the patient.
What Happens If Trigger Points Are Left Untreated?
As you learned above, trigger points are contracted bands of the muscle. Unlike whole-muscles spasms, also referred to as having a charlie horse, this type of micro-cramping can greatly affect your body. It can alter your range of motion as the taut band cannot be stretched out to its fullest extent. This gives off the feeling of having a knot in the muscle, which is where the term muscle knot came from. Muscle knots and trigger points are considered the same thing.
As the trigger point is left untreated, the muscle will essentially shut off or severely limits the blood supply to that section of muscle. This can create pain as the nerves get pinched. In addition, many other symptoms like fatigue can happen due to the excess metabolic waste in the taut muscles band that is unable to escape through the lymphatic system.
How Do I Locate My Trigger Points?
Trigger points tend to be a unique form of muscle injury. Although the trigger point can cause pain and dysfunction in the muscle that it lies within, that’s not the end of it. In fact, trigger points are well known for causing a phenomenon known as referred pain syndrome.
Essentially, the trigger point can refer pain to other skeletal and fascia regions of the body. This can make identifying the original point of muscular contraction difficult. Trained trigger point professionals are aware of the most common referred pain patterns and can work backward to identify where the trigger point is likely to be located at. A physical inspection of the site will reveal a small bump and constriction in movement.
How Can Trigger Point Injections Help?
Now, since you understand exactly what trigger points are and what happens as they continue to get worse, it’s time to discuss how trigger point injections can help. Trigger point injections, also known as TPIs for short, are the next course of treatment to remove the pain associated with trigger points when traditional massage or manual therapy is not effective.
The injection is done to the site of the trigger point. The injection itself is comprised of a small amount of anesthetic and steroid that works to alleviate the pain associated with the trigger. Multiple trigger points can be treated during the same session. Most trigger point injections are done to the arms, legs, lower back, and neck.
What Happens During The Trigger Point Injection?
Trigger point and spinal injections Miami is done with you in a sitting or lying down position, depending on where the treatment site is located on your body. Our physician will press on the muscle that has the trigger point in it. Next, they’ll insert the small needle into the trigger point. This is where the anesthetic and steroid are injected.
Integrative Spine and Sports Miami can treat multiple trigger points during one treatment session. Each injection takes only a few minutes to perform. You should talk with our physician about what treatment areas you would like to have injections performed on. After the injections are done, you’re free to use your muscles. However, we do caution you to avoid more strenuous activities for a few days to let your muscles relax.
Can Anyone Get Trigger Point Injections?
As we discussed above, trigger point injections are utilized as a secondary form of treatment when traditional massage or mechanical therapy doesn’t work effectively. Therefore, patients who undergo trigger point injections should have already undergone a form of mechanical therapy or message that was deemed ineffective.
In addition, trigger point injections should be avoided in some specific individuals. Those who have bleeding disorders and those on anticoagulation treatment should avoid this type of treatment. Injections are not recommended for women who are pregnant or for patients who are at high risk of infection.
Chronic Pain And Trigger Point Injections
If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain, it’s likely that you have one or more active trigger points throughout your body. As your body first developed a trigger point, it becomes more susceptible to developing more in the same area. Over time, this can add up to multiple trigger points. Each one causing local pain referred to pain, and restriction of movement in the area.
Trigger point injections can be utilized to eliminate the trigger points throughout your body. With the help of our trained professionals, we can work to identify your active trigger points. Then, with TPIs, we can successfully eliminate the trigger points so that your chronic pain is gone.