Trigger Point Injections
What are trigger points?
Trigger points are knots of muscle that are tender and can feel like tight bands or knots. In some cases, the knot may even be felt through the skin. Pressing on the trigger point can ‘trigger’ pain in the immediate area and in some cases in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the shoulder, when pressed, can cause pain down the arm or up the neck. These points are caused by overactive muscles that can come from stress, problems with the spine, posture, or over-using the muscle. Many times a trigger point can be treated by physical therapy, exercise, stress reduction, or improved posture.
In some cases the trigger point will not respond to conventional treatments and a trigger point injection will be necessary.
What are Trigger Point Injections (TPI)?
Trigger point injections are an option for treating pain. A small needle is used to inject anesthetic into the muscle knot that is causing discomfort. Some injections may contain a corticosteroid. This injection of medicine will cause the trigger point to become inactive and the pain is alleviated. Some people will have multiple trigger points; many spots can be treated in one visit. A brief course of treatment typically results in relief. If a person has an allergy for any of the medication, a dry needle technique can be used. A dry needle technique has no medication.
When is TPI Used?
Trigger point injections are typically used to treat overactive muscles in the arms, legs, neck, and lower back. Other ailments can be treated with TPI, including tension headaches, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome. Trigger point injection treatment for myofascial pain syndrome is still being studied and only used with other treatment options have failed.
A commonly used alternative to steroids and cortisone is Sarapin. It is a naturally found chemical derived from a pitcher plant called Sarraceniaceae. Sarapin is used to relieve pain and inflammation caused by a multitude of ailments, including but not limited to: brachial plexus neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, sciatic pain, occipital neuralgia, alcoholic neuritis, and lumbar neuralgia. It is often used as a complimentary treatment with other forms of alternative treatments like physiotherapy and chiropractic therapy. Sarapin trigger point injections are non-toxic and will not cause damage to tendons, bones, or cartilage. Many patients and doctors prefer using this type of injection because it is natural rather than synthetic. The needle is inserted directly into the trigger point and the drug is released deep into the muscle providing pain relief. Since its discovery in the 1930s, Sarapin has shown a high success rate in providing relief. Before undergoing Sarapin injections, your physician will review your complete medical history to attempt to locate the cause of the pain. The source of the pain can be the result of arthritis, malignancy, poor posture, or traumatic injuries. Sarapin will only help with pain relief and will not completely eliminate the pain unless the source of the problem is treated as well.