Most of us are familiar with muscle pain, either directly or indirectly. After a day of physical activity, it’s not unusual to feel some muscle pain or achiness as a result of strain or overexertion. What’s less familiar to many people is pain originating from the myofascial tissues.
Myofascial tissue is a special type of connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. When this tissue is irritated or inflamed, it often develops painful trigger points, which are hyperlocal areas of inflamed tissue that feel like bumps or “knots” under your skin. While this can happen acutely, some people develop chronic symptoms, a condition known as myofascial pain syndrome.
Often associated with overexertion, stress, or injury, trigger points aren’t uncommon. Unfortunately, unlike sore muscles that typically feel better after a day or two, trigger points are very stubborn, and the pain they cause can be debilitating.
At Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, our team offers trigger point injections to relieve myofascial pain. In this blog, our providers explain five benefits of trigger point injections that you should know about.
Trigger point injections include pain medicines and anti-inflammatory medicines. Once injected, these medicines go to work immediately at the injection site, easing pain, relaxing tense muscles, and relieving inflammation.
Because of this, injections can work more rapidly than pain medication, and they also don’t come with the side effects associated with medication therapy, such as gastrointestinal upset or the risks of abuse or addiction.
Oral pain medicines need to be “broken down” and absorbed by your body before they provide relief. Trigger point injections deliver medicines directly to the source of your symptoms. That means these injections are very effective in relieving pain right around the tight, inflamed knot.
Trigger points don’t just cause localized pain. When pressure is applied to these tender points — either directly or through movement — it’s common to have pain in other parts of your body, as well.
That could be because your muscles and myofascial tissue are all connected by nerves. By targeting the tender, inflamed tissue directly, inflammation is reduced, and that means referred pain can be relieved as well.
Because myofascial tissue surrounds your muscles, it’s not surprising that movement can make your symptoms worse. Every time you use a muscle, the myofascial tissue surrounding it moves as well. If you have painful trigger points, movement can increase irritation, inflammation, and pain.
Many people with myofascial pain limit their activities in order to avoid painful reactions. Trigger point injections can help restore your normal range of motion by relieving the inflammation associated with the pain.
Trigger point injections are a great way to get fast relief for myofascial pain, but they’re also effective for long-term management of myofascial tissue-related discomfort. Having a series of treatments can help calm underlying inflammation, and injections can be repeated if your symptoms recur. For many patients, injections offer an important alternative to long-term use of medications.
As a chronic pain disorder, myofascial pain syndrome can interfere with your life in many ways, and even everyday activities can be painful experiences. Trigger point injections are a nonsurgical alternative to help you get your symptoms under control, so you can get back to enjoying your life.
To learn more about trigger point injections and other nonsurgical pain management options, call 205-606-5232 or book an appointment online with Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine today.