What is a Trigger Point?
Trigger Points are painful areas of muscle that are tender and may feel like tight bands or knots when pressed. Pressing on the trigger point will “trigger” pain at the area of pressure and often in other areas. For example, pressing on a trigger point at the top of the shoulder may send pain down the arm or up into the neck.
Trigger points are overactive muscle areas that can come from stress, using the muscle too much, problems with the spine or posture, and conditions such as fibromyalgia. They can be treated by improving posture, reducing stressors, and doing rehabilitative exercises. Sometimes these approaches can take an extended period of time to resolve the trigger point, or may not correct the trigger point at all. In these cases, your doctor may suggest treating the problem with a trigger point injection.
How Are Trigger Points Injected?
When doing this treatment your doctor will mark the skin over the point, clean the skin, apply cooling spray to numb the area, and insert a fine needle through the skin into the trigger point area, causing a small “twitch”. This lets us know that the trigger point has been reached.
At Hansen Health Solutions we use natural substances like nutrients and ozone to help break up the adhesion. Your doctor will move the needle gently in and out of the trigger point area, changing direction various times to make sure the entirety of the trigger point is treated.
Most trigger point treatments take 15 seconds or less, in each area being treated.
What Are The Risks Of Trigger Point Injection?
The risk of infection is very small, as is the risk of bleeding after the injection. Most patients do not experience any side effects at all, however a small percentage or people may feel a pinpoint area of muscle soreness the day after the injection, usually for a very brief period of time. Please notify the medical provider if you are allergic to Marcaine (Bupavicaine), Lidocaine, or any medications that end in “caine”.
How Will You Feel Afterward?
Many times relief is immediate, but it can take a few days for the treatment to have full effect. During this time you may feel some soreness from the treatment itself. You should stretch the muscle, use ice or cold packs, or if needed your provider can recommend something safe for pain relief.
Within 1-2 days the soreness should fade, but the trigger point relief should last. There should be less pain than before treatment. Depending on the severity of your situation a series of treatments may be recommended to ensure that all layers of the problem are addressed. While these treatments do not always work, with the proper approach most patients are able to get relief for an extended period of time.
What Else Should I Do After The Injection?
When you are pain free, use the time to stretch the treated muscle, perform your exercise program, and take other steps that will keep the trigger points from coming back.
What About Injecting Other Medications?
Some doctors use medicines during trigger point treatment. The selection of any needed medication to be used for your trigger point treatment will be done by your doctor, and you will be informed of any and all medications used. At Hansen Health Solutions, we use a natural approach that is drug free and highly effective.
Please ask your provider for more advice about trigger point injections.