Trigger Point Injection for Pain Management

31 May 13

TriggerpointTrigger point injection (TPI) may be an option in treating pain for some patients. TPI is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain knots of muscles, or trigger points that form when muscles do not relax. Many times, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, which is pain that is felt in another part of the body.

Trigger points can cause: headaches, neck and jaw pain, low back pain, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, and many kinds of joint pain mistakenly ascribed to arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis or ligament injury. Trigger points can cause problems as diverse as: earaches, dizziness, nausea, heartburn, chest pain, heart palpitations, tennis elbow, tinnitus and genital pain. Because trigger points can be responsible for chronic pain and disability, they can also cause depression and anxiety.

What is a Trigger Point Injection?
In the TPI procedure, a health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient’s trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in a doctor’s office and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit.

When is Trigger Point Injection Used?
TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches.

Alternative Treatments
Deep pressure massage treatment identifying trigger points and elongating them along their natural range of motion is one alternative therapy.

Some experts have found that nearly half the people seen with trigger points are lacking in certain vitamins or minerals that are necessary for pain relief. These nutrients can include: B vitamins 1, 6, and 12, vitamin C, and folic acid. The minerals calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium are also important. The problem may be inadequate ingestion or substances that cause elimination e.g. smoking, caffeine, alcohol, drug/nutrient interactions, and tea. In many cases, a good multi vitamin can meet ones needs.

Diets high in alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods cause irregularity in one’s metabolism, making it difficult to keep trigger points deactivated. Food allergies can increase the vulnerability of muscles to stress.

If you are suffering from pain due to Trigger Points, reach out to the team at Innovative Health and Wellness for a consultation so that we can develop a personalized plan of treatment to best meet your needs and condition.

image via flickr

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