Myofascial Pain and
Trigger Points Treatment
HOW IT WORKS
What are Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points?
Myofascial pain refers to pain in the muscle (“myo”) and the fascia (the thin, white connective tissue that’s wrapped around every muscle). Myofascial pain is often caused by trigger points.
Trigger points are painful “knots” in your muscles that can be very sensitive to touch/pressure. Sometimes you can feel these knots when you rub your muscles. They may form after acute trauma or by repetitive microtrauma, leading to stress on muscle fibers which causes the fibers to be stuck in a contracted state.
Trigger points commonly affect the neck and shoulders, back, and hips. They cause localized pain as well as decreased range of motion and referred pain. For example, trigger points affecting your trapezius muscle may cause tension headaches. A trigger point affecting the piriformis muscle in your buttocks can cause pressure on your sciatic nerve and pain or numbness in your buttock and down the back of your leg.
How are Trigger Points Treated?
Therapy for trigger points can include over-the counter pain medication, heat therapy, massage therapy, stretching, physical therapy and trigger point injections.
In the trigger point injection procedure, a small needle is inserted into the trigger point. The injection typically contains a local anesthetic, or in some cases saline and/or a corticosteroid. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. The procedure usually takes just a few minutes, and several sites may be injected in one visit.
Trigger point injections are generally safe and carry a low risk of complications. The most common side effect is temporary discomfort or numbness around the injection site.
At Integrated Medical and Wellness Family of Clinics, our providers will do a physical exam to determine whether your pain may be caused by trigger points and can perform trigger point injections on the same day. Most people experience pain relief starting between 24 and 72 hours after the trigger point injection procedure. If you’re still experiencing pain after a week, additional injections may be recommended to achieve long-term pain relief and improvement in range of motion and overall muscle functionality.