When one of your muscles has a small, painful knot that refers pain to another area, this is called a trigger point. These muscular knots can be as small as a pea or as big as a walnut. If you press on the knot, pain radiates to another part of the body.
Trigger point symptoms may include:
- Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ)
- Knot or a firm nodule you can feel within the muscle
- Radiating pain that travels when pressed on
- A tender area in the muscle
When trigger points irritate the surrounding nerves, causing pain in another area, it is known as referred pain. Referred pain commonly is the source of tension headaches.
Active trigger points are always tender and can also cause muscular weakness and limit range of motion by preventing the full lengthening of the muscle, thus weakening the muscle over time.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections are actually given directly in the muscle. These injections utilize a safe combination of non-steroidal substances and Lidocaine. Lidocaine is ingredient that breaks apart muscle spasms and scar tissue in order to heal the muscle by promoting blood flow and allowing for the transport of oxygen and essential nutrients, thus deactivating the trigger point.
The injection causes the trigger point to relax, which restores blood flow and other fluids to the area. And of course, the pain caused by the trigger point is then gone.
Trigger point injections are used as effective treatment options for many painful conditions, including:
- Low back pain
- Neck or shoulder Pain
- Tension headaches
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Nearly any muscle-related pain
Back and Neck Trigger Points
Trigger points can occur within any muscle of the body, but the most common muscles affected are in the head, neck, and back. Trigger points in the neck and back can lead to headaches, neck pain, sciatica, and chronic back pain.
Common causes of trigger points include:
- Recent injuries
- Lack of exercise
- Improperly functioning body mechanics
- Structural imbalances
- Poor nutrition
- Mental or emotional stress
Ultimately, your body adapts to avoid pain by limiting muscle movement, causing trigger points to occur.
You may experience short-term relief as your body tries to heal on its own, but if your pain is ongoing, and you ignore it, you may suffer permanent muscle damage. The nodules and taut bands of muscle fibers in the neck and back may cause widespread problems, such as fibromyalgia and muscular rheumatism.
To learn more about how we can relieve your pain with trigger point injections in Washington, Wentzville, Lake St Charles, Union, Eureka, Pacific, Sullivan, St Clair, Hermann, New Haven or any nearby city, call us today at (636) 239-5252 to schedule a consultation.