What Is a Trigger Point Injection and How It Can Help You
Each year in the U.S., approximately 20 percent of adults struggle with chronic pain, while eight percent experience high-impact chronic pain that has a negative effect on their overall quality of life.
Have you been struggling with chronic pain? Have you tried a variety of treatment options without much luck?
Before you give up on your pursuit of pain relief, you may want to consider trigger point injection (or TPI) treatments. Read on to learn more about what these injections are and how they can help you.
What Is a Trigger Point Injection?
To understand trigger point injections, you first need to understand trigger points.
A trigger point is a painful knot that forms in the muscle. They're often the result of chronic muscle tension. You may even be able to feel the knot when you rub a muscle.
Trigger point injections involve the injection of a solution that contains anesthetic and steroid medications. A physician injects this solution into the trigger point of a particular muscle. As a result, the muscle is able to relax and pain starts to go away.
Benefits of TPIs
Over the last few years, TPIs have become a popular treatment option for athletes and folks struggling with chronic pain and muscle soreness. The following are some of the most well-known benefits these people are experiencing as a result of their TPI treatments:
Of course, one of the greatest benefits of trigger point injections is the fact that they can provide significant pain relief. Many people who receive them notice remarkable improvements in the level of pain they experience, as well as their overall quality of life.
Fast Treatment Process
The TPI treatment process is very efficient, too. Most appointments last less than an hour, and there's not a lot of prep work that needs to be done outside of an initial examination. You don't have to worry about downtime after the treatment, either, so it's easier to fit them into your everyday activities.
See Results Right Away
In most cases, folks who receive trigger point injections notice almost-immediate improvements in their pain. They feel better shortly after receiving the injections and are able to get back to their favorite activities much sooner than they can with other pain-relieving treatment options.
Improved Athletic Performance
When you're not dealing with chronic sore or stiff muscles, it's easier for you to engage in your favorite sports and activities. If you're an athlete or avid gym-goer who's feeling held back by chronic pain, trigger point injections are a great option to consider.
Improved Range of Motion
TPIs don't just get rid of the pain you might be experiencing. They improve one's ability to move their joints through a full range of motion, too.
If you're tired of feeling limited by pain and stiffness, TPI treatments can help you to move with more freedom, whether you're an athlete or just someone who wants to feel better in their day-to-day life.
Who Should Get TPIs?
TPI treatments can be a viable option for a lot of people who experience chronic pain on a regular basis. They work better for certain types of individuals, though, including those who fall into one or more of these categories:
- Those who have chronic tension headaches
- Those with chronic pain in the neck, arms, shoulders, or legs
- Those with chronic low back pain
- Those who suffer from fibromyalgia
- Those who have not experienced relief from other pain-relieving techniques (including medication and/or physical therapy)
If any of the above apply to you, there's a good chance you'll find TPIs to be beneficial.
What to Expect from TPI
Are you interested in trying out TPI treatments? Are you a bit nervous about what the process will be like?
The idea of having a needle inserted into a sore spot on your body might make you feel a little tense at first. The good news, though, is that the process is pretty straightforward and relatively painless.
Everyone's experience with trigger point injections is a bit different. However, you can expect it to go something like this:
Trigger Point Location
Before you can receive a trigger point injection, your physician first has to locate the trigger point (or trigger points) on your muscles. In most cases, they can do this with a physical examination, during which they'll palpate the area of the body where you're experiencing pain to look for trigger points.
Sometimes, they may use imaging, such as x-rays or MRIs as well. These tools don't help physicians to locate trigger points. They can help to diagnose underlying issues that may be causing their formation, though.
Trigger Point Injection
Once the physician has located the trigger points, it's time for you to receive the injection. This process is very fast. It's usually wrapped up in about 15 minutes or less, depending on the number of injections you need.
Once your injections are complete, you'll be able to leave and get back to your day. Most people don't experience any negative side effects, with the exception of some tenderness or discomfort at the injection site.
Follow-Up and Continuing Care
After your first round of trigger point injections, you'll likely need to receive more over the next couple of weeks.
Once the initial series of injections is completed, you'll be able to go several months without them, while still enjoying pain relief and improved range of motion. Any injections you receive after that will be tune-ups to help you continue feeling your best.
You can see more here to learn additional information about these injections and what to expect from them.
Give TPIs a Try Today
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits that trigger point injections have to offer.
Now that you know more about this treatment, are you interested in giving it a try to help manage your pain? If so, keep this information in mind so you know what to expect going in for your first trigger point injection.
Don't forget to check out some of the other pain management-related articles on our site as well to learn more!