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Trigger Point Injections

We all have muscles…some more than others. 

Regardless of the size of those muscles, one thing is for sure is that they are all made the same.  A muscle is comprised of several rectangular-shaped muscle cells laid out in tracks next to each other.  When viewed up close these cells resemble several bricks laid out in a pattern like a brick road.  One road can be grouped with other roads to make a muscle fiber, and several muscle fibers work together to comprise a muscle.  

Whether you are a world-class athlete or a world-class couch-potato you will still need healthy muscles, but muscles can develop problems by either working too hard or not enough.  Muscle fibers develop tears, some big and obvious, but most of the time a muscle will develop several micro-tears or adhesions from repetitive strains or habitually bad posture.  As stress continues to increase, also known as “life”, the micro-adhesions continue to compound causing the muscle to tighten, weaken, and become painful to use or even touch.  When this occurs, you have now developed a trigger point within the muscle.

Trigger points get their name for the PAIN that they trigger when the muscle is contracted or when the area is pressed. They are areas of inflammation or swelling within your muscles in which the muscle fiber is stuck in a constant contraction or cramp. This often causes tension, pain, weakness, and decreased function.

Trigger points are the knots in your muscles that a massage therapist would try to get out by pushing on the skin. When they occur, your body begins to lay down scar tissue as a quick patch repair job. The problem is that this scar tissue prevents circulation from getting to the muscle to properly repair and rehydrate the damaged cells.

Trigger point injections are quick procedures that treat these tight areas in the muscles by naturally rehydrating a dehydrated muscle and freeing up scar tissue. The procedure is just like if you were to get a shot at the doctor’s office; the provider would give a shot in the affected muscle, only it is with an even smaller needle. Injection ingredients vary, but most are a combination of saline to rehydrate and relax the muscle and long-acting lidocaine to numb the pain.

These injections are very quick, safe, and any pain or discomfort is usually mild during the injection, feeling like a quick sting. Mild soreness may be felt at the injection site and temporary bruising could occur. 

If you have ever felt pain or tension at the base of your skull, upper back, in-between your shoulder blades, lower back, buttocks, or calf muscles then you have probably had a trigger point before.  While these are common trigger point hotspots, a trigger point can develop in any muscle.  Most patients receive immediate relief with their first injection, but when treating chronic trigger points the best results may take more than one treatment.  

At BBC Health in Lewisville, Texas, our providers specialize in providing natural trigger point injections to help you feel and function at your best.  Our integrated team of primary care medical providers and chiropractors are ready to serve you.  

Contact us to schedule your trigger point exam today!

Author
Linda Hampton, MSN, APRN, FNP

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