What are they for?
Trigger Point injections are used for relief of pain in muscles as well as resolving conditions that have been present for many years. It is effective for muscles that have been strained or injured, muscle spasm, or chronic tension. Often, pressing on specific areas of the muscle triggers a pain sensation, hence the term “Trigger Point.” Injecting into those points reduces or eliminates tension and pain and restores motion. Almost any muscle can be treated using this technique including shoulders, back, base of neck, hips and legs. By relieving the muscle tension around the spine, it can also be helpful in controlling symptoms of nerve tingling or numbness and other symptoms caused by spinal disc problems.
This treatment method has been practiced since the 1960s. Over time, the procedure has become more refined and now there are several injection methods. In addition to using a local anesthetic (numbing agent) such as lidocaine, I also inject homeopathic products such as Traumeel. In addition to blocking the pain message via anesthetic, the homeopathic products stimulate the body to heal. This often results in greater success than dry needling or just injecting an anesthetic, and there is often less post-injection discomfort. The number of treatments required varies depending upon the condition and the response.
This is not the same as Cortisone (steroid) injections or a “nerve block” using an anesthetic.
How badly do they hurt?
Most people don’t like the idea of an injection, but when they try these they tell me that they aren’t that bad. The injections might feel like something similar to acupuncture with a low to medium sensation of pain. The pain usually goes away immediately after the injection, and the solution/medicine does not cause more pain. The injection only penetrates into the muscle, so we don’t risk injuring deeper tissues. Occasionally someone might experience some slight swelling, bruising, soreness, or inflammation after the injection but this can be decreased with icing or the use of an oral homeopathic product.
It makes your other treatments work better:
Usually, the trigger point injections allow other treatment modalities such as massage, chiropractic, physical therapy and acupuncture to provide much more benefit.
Injections for joint pain:
Sometimes a smaller muscle or a joint area needs treatment that requires a more shallow injection method. This involves shots just under the skin surface with a very small needle.
Arthritis in any joint responds extremely well with this method. Other conditions treated include neck tension and pain, joint strains or sprains, knee pain, tennis elbow, wrist/ hand pain including carpal tunnel syndrome, finger, ankle and toe sprains, and plantar fasciitis. This method can also be used for headaches and migraines, abdominal or pelvic cramping, and swelling and edema. Symptom relief can be almost immediate after treatment.