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Trigger Point Injections

A muscle that has become stiff, sore from being overused, torn, or bruised, can become a point of origin for spreading pain known as a “Trigger Point”.  Pain from an injured muscle can cause headaches and aches in other areas such as the arms, legs, or lower back and neck. Often, these trigger points present as an area of knotted muscles under the skin that may be tender to touch and cause pain with movement of the muscle group.  Treating the pain at the trigger point is one of the most effective means of remedying these problems.  X-rays and MRI’s are not required in finding or to diagnose muscle trigger points, and a physical examination of the muscles is usually all that is needed to locate source of the patient’s discomfort. 

Trigger Points may be treated by various methods such as ice, heat, massage, ointments, muscle relaxers and stretching.  These methods of treatment may be carried out at home or at a physical therapy office.  What I want to elaborate on is a therapy called “Trigger Point Injections”.  A trigger point injection contains a mixture of medications such as a numbing agent and a steroid that help the muscles relax and reduce inflammation.

Receiving a trigger point injection typically takes only 15 minutes and may involve several injections into the knotted muscles, repeated over several weeks. As the medication does its work, blood flow will improve and the body will start to heal itself.  After the initial treatments, trigger point injections are usually limited to one session every month or two, as needed. 

Trigger point injections are very safe and there few, if any, side effects. Complications such as bleeding and infection at the injection site are uncommon. There may be temporary soreness or numbness at the injection site. More often than not, the patient receives immediate and substantial pain relief that may last for several hours.  Taking trigger point injections in conjunction with physical therapy has been shown to improve overall performance and efficiency in these programs. Trigger point injections may also aid in reducing a patient’s dependence on opioid and other prescription medications that treat pain.

Pain management uses a variety of approaches to relieve and manage the many causes of pain. At Summit Primary Care, we address your pain’s physical, emotional, social, and psychological aspects to optimize your outcomes.

Interventional pain management treats chronic, acute, and recurring pain resulting from an underlying medical condition. Therapies the Summit Primary Care team uses may provide you with short-term or long-term relief from your discomfort.

We accept a wide variety of commercial and public insurances including private plans as well as Colorado Medicaid and Medicare. Call today to see if trigger point injections are the right relief for your pain.

 

National Spine and Pain Center (2021).  Trigger Point Injections, Treatment for Stiff, Painful Muscles:  https://www.treatingpain.com/treatments/trigger-point-injections/

Cleveland Clinic (2021), Trigger Point Injections:  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17582-trigger-point-injection
Author
Richard White, PA Richard was born Columbus Ohio, lived there till age 16 then moved with family to Lake Havasu, AZ where he graduated High School. He joined the Army at age 30 as a Dental specialist. Became a Dental Hygienist in the Army with expanded functions, was transferred to recruiting for three years in Las Vegas, NV, then went back to the Dental Command and ran the largest Army dental clinic as the Non-commissioned officer in charge for 2 years prior to submitting my application for Physician Assistant School at Fort Sam Houston, TX. In 2008 I passed my National Physician Assistant Certification board and began practicing in the Army. I deployed to Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan during the next 8 years and was stationed in Germany, Fort Irwin, CA and Fort Carson, CO before retiring her in Colorado Springs in 2016. Since that time I have been practicing Family Medicine in Southern Colorado.

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