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What is a trigger point?
A Myofascial trigger point is a dense, ropy area located between the fascia and a muscle. They commonly arise from injury, overuse, or an imbalance of muscle strength. As a result, your fascia (a thin layer that is just under the fat, and surrounds our muscles) tightens, causing a knot-like sensation under the skin. Quite often these trigger points in muscles may refer pain to another area of the body, and so treatment may not actually be where you feel your pain. Trigger points are injected with saline or an anesthetic to help create separation between the fascia and the muscle, thereby increasing the range of movement and decreasing pain.
Trigger Point Injections:
Trigger Point Injection is an injection technique frequently used to treat extremely painful and tender areas of muscles that have resulted from acute muscle injury or from repetitive strain injury. The knot can often be felt under the skin and may twitch involuntarily when touched. This trigger point becomes tender, the muscle tires more easily, ultimately become weaker, and it may cause radiating pain. Scar tissue and loss of range of motion may form over time. A small needle is inserted into the trigger point and a local anesthetic (procaine or lidocaine) or botulinum toxin (ie Botox) is injected in an attempt to jumpstart the normal reparative process. Trigger point injections have been found to be very effective in relieving pain and may be used in combination with home exercise, heat, cold, and an individualized medication program.
As you are receiving injections, the act of inserting a needle into the tissue sends blood and white blood cells to the area for healing, creating a local inflammatory response. Typically 4-6 treatments are necessary to show the greatest benefits of trigger point therapy, along with other changes such as diet, exercise, lifestyle factors, or supplementation can be an excellent combination to help relieve muscle tightness and increase range of motion. Each case is unique, and after an assessment it may be warranted to try trigger point therapy.
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