Muscle pain affects anyone, including powerlifters, construction workers, and pregnant women. Failure to address the issue leads to chronic pain, affecting how one moves. This condition occurs when muscle fibers get stuck in contraction, forming bumps known as trigger points.
Massages and chiropractic adjustments can help relieve the pain. However, trigger point injections may be necessary to eliminate chronic muscle pain.
What Are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections involve injecting a local anesthetic into contracted muscles to relax them and relieve pain. The affected muscles often form bumps under the skin that cause tenderness due to restricted blood flow.
Trigger point injections effectively relieve the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome, a condition that affects the muscles and the tissue surrounding them. Trigger points can form due to the following reasons:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Lack of regular exercise
- Vitamin deficiency
- Prolonged poor posture
Trigger point injections can include a combination of local anesthetic and steroids that block pain receptors and reduce muscle inflammation and knotting.
The Benefits & Conditions They Treat
Trigger point injections can help relieve chronic pain affecting the muscle and nervous system. Some of the conditions treatable with the injections include:
Trigger points in the neck and shoulder muscles may cause tension headaches which can be mild or severe and throbbing. Trigger point injections can help deliver immediate relief to patients suffering from severe headaches or frequent migraine attacks.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic condition that affects muscles, causing them to knot and send painful sensations to unrelated regions. Several causes, such as injury, poor posture, and psychological stress, cause muscle stiffness and limit motion.
Trigger point injections can help block neural pathways and relieve pressure from the contracted muscles. The injections can also help torn muscles heal.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition whose symptoms include widespread body pain and fatigue. Patients also experience mental distress and trouble sleeping.
Injecting an anesthetic into a trigger point can help deliver relief from the pain and relax any knotted muscles.
What Happens During The Procedure?
Trigger point injections typically take minutes and require a brief in-office appointment. Injecting trigger points may be painful, but this is a great sign your doctor is treating the correct spot.
During the procedure, your doctors will first identify your trigger point. After sterilizing the area of concern, they will inject the trigger point with local anesthesia to relax the muscle and bring relief. The dry-needle technique is used for patients allergic to anesthesia.
Trigger Point Injections with Our Team of Experts
Trigger Point Injection is effective in providing relief to patients experiencing chronic pain. The injections help the inflamed muscles relax, allowing the blood vessels to function freely.
Our team of experts at Progressive Pain Management focuses on interventional pain procedures that bring relief to patients with chronic pain. Our physicians have the expertise to administer some of the most advanced pain management techniques. Please fill out our form and let us help you manage your chronic pain.
Individuals would be shocked at the number of unnecessary surgeries annually performed in the United States. Unnecessary surgery, by definition, is exactly what it sounds like; “Any surgical intervention that is either not needed, not indicated, or not in the patient’s best interest when weighed against other available options, including conservative measures.” Fortunately, there are easy, effective actions that you can take to avoid going under the knife.
Four Ways to Avoid Undergoing Unnecessary Surgery
1. Be educated.
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions to better understand how the recommended procedure will help you in the long run. Will this surgery get rid of your pain? Will this surgery help improve the way your body operates? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, ask them to explain exactly how it will help. The same thing goes for understanding the risks. Be aware of common complications as well as worst-case-scenario situations. Being fully informed will allow you to make the best decision for you. You are your biggest advocate.
2. Know your doctor.
Research your physician and/or surgeon to be sure you are comfortable with the person who is taking care of you. Look into their board certifications, their success rate for the surgery they are presenting to you, and the number of times they have performed the procedure. There is nothing wrong with being certain you are in the best hands and receiving the best care.
3. Consider any alternative treatments.
Not all cases of illness or chronic pain require surgery. Be sure to discuss any and all alternative courses of treatment with your physician. Symptom management or watchful waiting may be the route to go; monitoring your symptoms while holding off on surgery to see if your condition improves, worsens, or remains the same.
4. Prioritize a healthy lifestyle.
You’ve heard this one time and time again and it still rings true. Get moving, even if you’re just taking a daily ten-minute walk. Drink plenty of water. Focus on eating a whole-foods or low-fat diet. Be sure you are getting adequate sleep every night. Modifying your lifestyle to incorporate healthier behaviors ultimately leads to a healthier you.
Understandably, sometimes surgery is the best course of action for patients. However, you should never feel pressured to move forward with any medical treatment you are uncomfortable with. Be educated, know your doctor, consider alternative therapies, and prioritize a healthy lifestyle. These four steps alone may help you, or a loved one, avoid an unnecessary surgery.
The experts at Progressive Pain Management can help manage pain conditions using minimally-invasive techniques and state-of-the-art therapies to help you avoid surgery. Fill out the form below to get started.
There is an ever-growing variety of treatments for those suffering from chronic pain. There is the option of general medicine – oral and topical therapies – that can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may suggest non-medication pain relievers or even use alternative methods like acupuncture.
Physicians will occasionally use interventional techniques involving outpatient procedures or injections of various levels to treat pain. With the recent growth of research, knowledge, and game-changing technology, the amount of treatment options keeps increasing. But not only that, reliable, effective, and safe techniques can be used to manage pain.
Common Treatment Options to Relieve Chronic Pain
Although rest alleviates pain, too much rest can actually increase pain and increase your risk of further injury. Stay active to help relieve pain from common conditions such as lower back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Exercise releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – so as you exercise, you are helping your body diminish pain and build strength.
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy uses a low-voltage electrical current to block pain signals from going to the brain. Electrodes are placed on the skin near the affected area and the electrical stimulation is transmitted into the nerves, blocking “normal” pain signals.
Biofeedback is a machine-assisted technique that measures information about physical characteristics from a patient. It can capture data such as heart rate, brain activity, and body temperature to help enhance the patient’s awareness of how their body reacts to stress and pain. This helps patients learn how to manage physical and emotional pain due to chronic conditions.
Yoga incorporates a number of relaxation techniques such as breath control, meditation, and strength-training exercises. The combination of these techniques help with chronic pain conditions like arthritis, headaches, back pain, and fibromyalgia. Yoga helps reduce pain that is specific to stress-related conditions. The gentle movements of yoga helps strengthen muscles without putting strain on other parts of the body.
5. OTC Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen help relieve mild to moderate pain. The most common medications are Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve. NSAIDs reduce inflammation and swelling. Your doctor will be able to suggest which type of OTC medication is best for your chronic pain. Taking pain relievers for long-term relief can cause negative side effects, so be sure to consult with a physician before taking anything.
6. Nerve Block Injections
Nerve block injections are primarily performed as outpatient procedures, but may be used on patients who are already hospitalized for other reasons. Often times, doctors will use contrast dye to determine the most accurate placement of the injection needle. There are a number of different types of injections: epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, lumbar sympathetic block, celiac plexus block, as well as others.
7. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy helps relieve pain by using specialized movements and techniques. PT helps restore range of motion, improve movement, and normal functions that have been impaired by injury, chronic pain, or a disability. Physical therapists utilize a variety of techniques to provide well-rounded care for their patients including stretching, strength-training, pain-relieving techniques, and sometimes TENS therapy. The goal is to help restore your quality of life and help patients get back to doing what they love.
8. Mind-Body Relaxation Techniques
Mind-body therapies are techniques that are used to train the mind’s ability to positively affect pain and symptoms of the body. Many techniques include relaxation therapies such as meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness. Training the body to relax and release stress can reduce pain and discomfort from chronic conditions.
9. Therapeutic Massage
Therapeutic massages help manage pain by reducing stress and relieving tension by increasing blood flow. Massages reduce the chemicals in your body that stimulate and sustain pain. Those who suffer from painful muscles, tendons, joints, and chronic back and neck pain can benefit from therapeutic massages. By applying pressure to certain areas on the body, it is possible to impede pain signals to and from the brain, although the effectiveness is still being researched.
Finding treatments that help reduce inflammation and discomfort is important when you live with chronic pain. Regain your quality of life and get back to doing what you love with the help of the experts at Progressive Pain Management. Fill out the form below to start.
There are a lot of options for treating pain without the use of narcotics. The opioid epidemic is spreading across the nation at frightening rates. Many state laws are cracking down on opioid prescriptions to prevent excessive prescribing.
However, many chronic pain patients feel lost and confused about available options. The state of New Jersey passed a law limiting initial opioid prescriptions to 5 days to reduce opioid misuse and addiction. Other states are following suit. Chronic pain is a legitimate medical concern.
Non-Opioid Treatments for Chronic Pain
Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
Taking OTC pain relievers may not be the best way to manage your chronic pain, but will help reduce symptoms on a daily basis. Many doctors prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) for those suffering from chronic headaches, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis because these medications help fight pain and inflammation.
Patients who suffer from chronic pain are typically unable to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. This leads to weakened joints and muscles. Physical therapy helps patients reach their full potential using low-intensity therapies like hydrotherapy and ultrasound. Once they get used to that routine and intensity, the focus can shift to more targeted exercises for their specific pain. Physical therapy encourages a higher quality of life and helps patients regain mobility.
This ancient Chinese form of pain management is most often used to help treat back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headaches. The needles stimulate a nerve, signaling the brain to release endorphins that act as a natural opioid. By stimulating the nerve that runs from your brain to your colon, inflammation will lower and often reduce the cause of pain.
High-Tech Methods for Treating Chronic Pain
With technology, new methods for treating pain are becoming increasingly popular with both doctors and patients.
This process uses heat to reduce pain by eliminating communication to the brain. It’s common in patients who suffer from chronic pain in the lower back, neck, and joints. It provides immediate relief and gets the patient back to a restored quality of life in a shorter amount of time.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation hides the pain signal before it can reach the brain. A small device is surgically implanted under the skin and sends mild electrical currents to the spinal cord. Pain is reduced due to the stimulation modifying the pain signals and redirecting them away from your brain. Patients may sense a tingling sensation instead of pain.
Nerve Block Injections
With the help of an X-Ray, these injections can dampen or block the pain. Nerve blocks help the pain from spreading to other parts of the body, by minimizing the signals sent to the brain. Different types of nerve blocks depend on a patient’s pain. Injections can be used to treat painful conditions, determine the source of pain, or to predict the result of a treatment.
Physicians are using these non-opioid treatments instead of writing prescriptions. Other therapies that don’t include medication like exercise therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) are gaining popularity. They focus on changing the patient’s attitude and awareness of their pain and teaching coping mechanisms to better manage their pain.
Talk to your doctor about alternative treatment options if you suffer from chronic pain. Progressive Pain Management provides a variety of pain management options to help you find relief from your chronic conditions. Fill out the form below to get started.