Trigger points (TrPs) or muscle “knots” are sore spots in soft tissue that cause deep aching. Trigger points are commonly defined areas of tense muscles or knots in the muscle, which can be painful. Often, these trigger points can cause localized pain or even referred pain to other areas of your body, which can mimic conditions such as a pinch nerve in your neck or back. Trigger points may be a major factor in back and neck pain, as a cause, a complication, or a bit of both.
Where Do Trigger Points Come From?
Trigger points develop as a result of injuries to the muscles, overstraining, and trauma. When muscle fibers, fascia, ligaments, or tendons become weakened, overstretched, or inflamed, tiny tears in the soft tissue can occur. As the tissue heals it contracts, becoming twisted and knotted. These knotted fibers restrict the fresh blood supply needed by the muscle cells. Often, there is a shortening of the muscle fiber to protect itself from further injury.
Structural imbalances, improper body mechanics, poor nutrition and mental or emotional stress are also factors. Muscles learn to avoid pain and guard against it by limiting their movement resulting in a loss of range of motion.
Trigger Point Treatments
There are various conservative treatments available such as deep therapeutic massage, acupuncture, muscle relaxants, and physical therapy. Yet, these treatments may not be able to totally convince you that they’ve succeeded in relieving your chronic pain since they can be experimental and exploratory in nature. Sometimes trigger point injections are required.
Trigger point injections are specific types of local muscle injections used to treat areas responsible for pain and spasms. Common medications used in trigger point injections include local anesthetic (numbing medicine) and/or steroidal/non-steroidal (anti-inflammatory) medications. The purpose of the injection is not only to decrease pain, but also to improve function and break the pain cycle.
Complications are extremely rare and there is a very slight risk of infection, bleeding, or worsening of symptoms. You can continue your regular diet and medications after you leave the doctor’s office. The length of time of pain relief is different for each patient yet for many the relief lasts several months or longer. If the treatment works for you, repeat injections may be recommended.
Contact Michigan Pain Consultants Today
Talk with the professionals at Michigan Pain Consultants today about Trigger Point Treatments and Trigger Point Injections.
Make an appointment for a new patient consultation with one of our board certified pain physicians. All of Michigan Pain Consultant’s physicians are Board Certified in Anesthesiology or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and have advanced training and experience in Pain Medicine. You can begin first by visiting online at MyLifeBeyondPain.com, MichiganPain.com, or by calling them at (800)281-3237. Michigan Pain Consultants – Better Treatments. Better Life.
With six locations throughout West Michigan, Michigan Pain Consultants comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to pain care offers patients and providers renewed hope for relief from chronic pain. Chronic pain should be treated like other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure. Chronic pain requires chronic treatment. The goal of the treatment is to optimize the management of the pain, as opposed to curing the pain.