If you suffer from muscle pain, you know how debilitating it can be. There are so many treatment options available; it can be challenging to determine where to start.
Traditional treatments like massage, acupuncture, and physiotherapy are the most common. They’re effective, but sometimes weekly visits can become too time-consuming and costly.
If you’re can’t justify weekly massages anymore, there are other treatment options available.
Trigger point injections (TPI) are an effective way to treat a myriad of conditions. Highly-trained doctors can perform the injections right from their office. The injections can provide instant relief from several painful conditions.
If you’ve never heard of this treatment option, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for the details to know before trying pressure point injections.
What Are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point shots are an effective treatment option for people with muscular pain. Though, as you’ll read later, they can be useful for other conditions as well.
Trigger points are knots that occur in your muscles. They form when your muscle is unable to relax. You can even sometimes feel the knots in your muscles when you rub your skin.
Your doctor will inject a small amount of anesthetic and a steroid into the trigger point. They can treat several points at once if you have more than one that’s causing problems.
The injection will make the problematic trigger point inactive, helping your pain subside.
There Aren’t Many Risks
Risks of complications from a trigger point injection are infrequent. Uncommon side effects include bleeding or infections at the injection site.
You’re more likely to experience soreness at the injection site or temporary numbness. The pain is short-lived and will subside after a few days.
Pain is more common when trigger point dry needling (TDN) is performed. The pain post-procedure is often worthwhile for patients needing TDN. This procedure allows for deeper tissue release.
Post-procedure pain can be treated with ice or heat. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also help.
You will not need any downtime after your procedure, either. You can return to your normal lifestyle after leaving your doctor’s office.
If you have localized pain near the injection site, though, you may wish to take it easy the first day or two.
It’s Useful in Treating More Than Just Muscle Pain
TPI is useful in treating people with muscle pain in any muscle group. It’s most often used in patient’s arms, legs, low back, and neck.
The injections are commonly used to treat muscle pain. But they can be useful in treating other conditions, too.
Some patients use TPI to treat fibromyalgia, chronic tension headaches, and migraines.
TPI can treat these conditions as a trigger point may be causing them in the first place. Trigger points can irritate surrounding nerves, not only affecting nearby muscles but other parts of your body, too.
Many chronic migraine sufferers massage trigger points to help find relief from their headaches. If you find relief from trigger point therapy, TPI will probably work for you, too.
It Works Fast, but There’s Upkeep Involved
The injections can work immediately, much faster than other similar pain relief services offered. This is good news for anyone in debilitating pain at the end of their rope.
In some cases, it may take a few days to start to feel relief.
The bad news is that the procedure doesn’t work for everyone. But patients that do find relief with TPI report having up to six months of pain relief at a time.
If the treatment works for you, you’ll need to continue seeing your doctor. When the pain starts to creep back in, you will know it’s time to go back for another series of injections.
Maintenance treatment may be necessary to continue seeing results.
The Procedure Is Quick and the Results Last Long
Treatments like massage and acupuncture have a place, but they can be time-consuming. Not everyone has a full hour of their day to give up once per week.
TPI treatments will fit perfectly in a busy schedule. From start to finish, the procedure should take no longer than 15 minutes. Even if you’re receiving more than one injection, you’ll be in and out in no time.
For some patients, the effects of the injections last months at a time. Fewer visits to your doctor mean more freed up time for you.
TPI Can Be Done in Combination With Other Treatments
Once you start getting your injections, you might feel like you have a new lease on life. You’ll be in much less pain, and you may have more range of motion than before. You might find visits to your masseuse, acupuncturist, or physiotherapist are unnecessary.
The injections work great when used alone, but sometimes patients feel like they need a little more. If you have the means and time, it’s safe to combine your injections with other treatments.
In fact, for best results, you should pair TPI with a supervised stretching program. Don’t be afraid of strengthening weak muscles to compliment your injections. A physiotherapist can create a plan that suits your specific needs.
Are Trigger Point Injections Right For You?
Trigger point injections are worth considering if you’re tired of traditional treatment options. They’re useful in treating a myriad of conditions and might be your best defense in pain relief.
If you’re looking for a more long-term solution to your condition, try TPI. The results tend to last longer than other treatment methods, saving you time and money.
If you’re curious about other ways you can improve your life, be sure to check out our Health section. We’re adding new blogs often to help you live your most healthy life.