4 Ways Trigger Point Injections Can Help You Feel Better
Trigger points are tight, knotted muscles that form when specific areas of a muscle remain tense and simply don’t relax. Over time, continued tension causes irritation and inflammation in the muscle fibers. People who have trigger points can experience pain and tenderness in and around the muscle, and they can also experience more generalized pain and aching in other areas affected by the muscle (also referred to as referred pain).
While heat, pain relievers and even massage can help relieve the symptoms of trigger points temporarily, they’re largely ineffective in making the muscle knots go away. A better alternative: trigger point injections (TPIs) that deliver relief specifically to the knotted fibers to eliminate symptoms at their source.
Trigger point injections use thin needles to deliver medications directly to the tense muscle fibers to relieve inflammation and pain, interrupting overactive nerve signals that can cause unusual tension in the muscle fibers. Trigger point injections can be very effective in treating many types of chronic pain, including these five common types:
Tension (or stress) headaches are the most common type of headaches, causing continual pain and pressure that can last for hours. People with tension headaches often wake up with pain and may suffer other symptoms like muscle achiness, chronic fatigue, irritability and problems concentrating. Like migraines, some tension headaches can also cause increased sensitivity to light or noise. Tension headaches are often associated with trigger points in the shoulders, neck or upper back, and they can be caused by poor sleep habits, jobs or other activities that require a lot of time sitting or standing, using computers or smartphones for long periods of time, carrying heavy loads, and other activities.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)
Muscles are covered by a protective tissue called the fascia. When a muscle is injured, strained or irritated, it can cause chronic pain symptoms in the fascia, which in turn can cause muscles to tighten, resulting in multiple trigger points inside the muscles. Repetitive use and overexertion are common causes of MPS symptoms, but period of prolonged inactivity and sedentary lifestyles can also contribute to MPS.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that results in widespread pain and achiness, and frequently involves multiple trigger points throughout your body. Most research indicates fibromyalgia is caused by unusual “firing” of overactive nerves that cause muscles to tense up. Trigger point injections help relieve these painful areas and the inflammation they cause so widespread discomfort is alleviated.
Joint Pain and Stiffness
Sure, some joint pain can be related to arthritis, but there are plenty of people who have pain and stiffness simply because the muscles surrounding (and connected to) contain painful muscle knots that wind up restricting joint function. TPIs get right to the source of pain to promote healthy, normal, pain-free range of motion.
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Chronic pain issues can take a major toll on your overall quality of life, and they can also interfere with your ability to exercise and lose weight. That’s because trigger points can interfere with normal range of motion, restricting your ability to move comfortably. By relieving trigger point pain, you can enjoy a more active lifestyle, get a better night’s sleep, and even improve your mood and your performance at work or school. To find out more about trigger point injections and whether they’re right for you, call Dr. Weight Loss of Atlanta at 770-330-4214 and schedule a free consultation and evaluation today.