When you’re experiencing musculoskeletal pain, typically the best way to tackle the problem is at its source. With myofascial pain, the source may not be where you think, but rather, stems from a trigger point that’s seemingly unrelated.
With our trigger point injection therapy, our team here at Pain Medicine Consultants aims to not only locate the source of your pain, but relieve the tension that’s causing the widespread pain.
Here’s a brief look at how myofascial pain develops and how trigger point injections work to resolve the problem.
The extent of myofascial pain
The first point to understand about myofascial pain is that it’s present in up to 85% of people who report musculoskeletal pain. Now, let’s try to understand why it’s so prevalent.
The term myofascial includes myo, which refers to muscles, and fascial, which refers to the thin white membranes that surround your muscles (and other organs). With myofascial pain syndrome, you develop a trigger point, or knot, that keeps a segment of muscle fibers contracted.
Worse still, a trigger point can impede blood flow to the tissue, which prevents healing resources and also allows toxins to build.
Making matters even more complex, the trigger point may lead to a certain pattern of pain, which means the pain may be in the area of the trigger point, as well as in other areas of your body.
In some cases, you might not even feel pain on or near the trigger point, but in a seemingly unrelated area of your body.
What leads to a trigger point is overuse or damage to a muscle that causes the body to respond in a way to protect itself through extreme muscle and fascia contraction.
How trigger point therapy works and what to expect
With trigger point therapy, we locate the knot(s) responsible for your pain, then insert a needle directly into the tissue. In most cases, we inject a steroid and a local anesthetic through the needle, which helps to bring relief more quickly.
If you don’t want medications, we can use a technique called dry needling in which we simply insert the needle, but we don’t release any medications. When we insert a needle into your trigger point, our goal is to release the tension in the knot.
In either case, there’s no downtime after your trigger point injections and you can get on with your normal activities.
As for how long you might experience relief, it’s hard to say. If you use this time to work through some physical therapy exercises that better support your muscles, you can greatly improve your results.
Unfortunately, trigger points often flare up again and cause pain, at which point you can simply return for another round of injections.
If you have more questions about trigger point injection therapy, please contact one of our offices in Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill, or Corte Madera, California, to schedule an appointment.