When your body is injured, nerves send information to the brain through the spinal cord. Your brain will then process this information and make the appropriate response by making you feel pain. When your injury or illness is healed, you will also stop feeling pain.
However, some people feel the pain that lasts longer than what some people feel– this is what you call chronic pain. By definition, chronic pain is persistent pain that lasts for at least 12 weeks or 3 months. It can occur anywhere in the body and with many underlying causes. Chronic pain is very prevalent in the US, affecting 20.4% of individuals in the country.
Trigger Points Injection for Chronic Pain
Living with chronic pain can be very devastating, hindering your way of living. While to some people, chronic pain is caused by other medical conditions such as cancer and injuries, trigger points can also cause some. These are susceptible spots that are located in the tight bands of the skeletal muscles’ fascia.
Chronic pain caused by trigger points are typically a result of stress from repetitive movements and injury. The most common symptoms of chronic pain caused by trigger points are pain in the hip, back, and neck areas. For this case, it can be easily treated by trigger point injections.
Trigger point injections are a treatment procedure that aims to treat chronic pain caused by trigger points. The medication can be local anesthesia, a corticosteroid to treat inflammation, or a botulinum toxin A to prevent muscle contraction; and will be injected directly into the myofascial trigger points. Trigger point injection is widely used in treating chronic pain caused by Myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, and tension headaches.
During your consultation, your doctor may physically examine you for trigger points. He or she may press the area where you have felt pain to locate its exact cause. Once the trigger point is located, your doctor will sanitize the area before injecting the medication. It is possible to treat several trigger points in one appointment with your doctor.
How effective are trigger point injections?
No shoe fits all. Some patients feel immediate relief from chronic pain after the injections; and some find relief weeks after the treatment.
A study was conducted in 2019 to evaluate the effectiveness of trigger point injections in the abdominal wall of 35 patients suffering from chronic pain in the abdomen. The study results showed that most patients felt significant reductions in pain two years after the initial injection. There were no complications noted in the study; however, patients may initially feel pain and numbness on the injection site. Skin discoloration may also occur, but it will eventually go away after a few days.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, talk to your doctor during your consultation on how you may benefit from trigger point injections.