Dealing with chronic pain can be brutal. It makes everything harder — interfering with a person’s daily activities and severely impacting one’s well-being.
While there is a long list of therapies available to manage chronic pain, one option that has gained attention in recent years is trigger point injections. While every patient is unique and can respond to treatments differently, it could be the answer you’ve been searching for.
When Is Pain Considered “Chronic”?
Chronic pain is described as any pain that lasts for three months or longer. Some patients may experience it for years with little relief. This type of pain can be continuous or intermittent and can range from mild to severe. The causes of chronic pain can be one or more of a wide range of conditions, although it’s commonly linked to arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, nerve damage, and injuries.
Chronic pain does more than just hurt your body; it can also affect your mental health, relationships, and ability to work or engage in activities you once enjoyed.
Doctors and other medical specialists use a wide variety of treatments to relieve chronic pain, including:
- Medications (both over the counter and prescription)
- Physical therapy
- Alternative therapies such as hot needling, meditation, and massage
- Psychological counseling
- Minimally invasive procedures such as nerve blocks, ablations, and steroid injections
- Surgery (usually as a last resort or in severe cases)
What Are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections are a type of pain management therapy used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. A healthcare professional will inject a small needle containing a local anesthetic, saline, or corticosteroid into these trigger points.
Injecting these substances can help many patients alleviate their pain by reducing inflammation, relaxing the muscles, and promoting healing.
Studies have shown promising results for the use of trigger point injections in managing chronic pain. However, like any treatment, its effectiveness can vary depending on the individual and the nature of their chronic pain. Many patients report immediate relief following the procedure, and some find long-term relief after just one injection.
What to Expect During a Trigger Point Injection Procedure
When first meeting with a pain management specialist, they’ll perform an extensive evaluation of your condition, asking you to describe your pain and any related symptoms. They’ll review your medical history and sometimes perform tests to see if they can determine the precise cause of your pain.
During the trigger point injection procedure, you’ll likely be asked to sit or lie down. The healthcare provider will identify the trigger points and clean the skin over them. They’ll then inject the solution into each trigger point.
The procedure itself typically takes just a few minutes, though you may need to rest for a short period afterward. You might also be advised to apply heat or ice to the injection site at home and take an over-the-counter medication to ease any discomfort.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
While trigger point injections can be beneficial, they are not without risks, including infection at the injection site, bleeding, or potential adverse reactions to the injected substances. Some people might also experience a temporary increase in pain or soreness following the procedure.
Be sure to discuss these potential risks with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision about whether trigger point injections are right for you.
Get Trigger Point Injections and Other Pain Relief at HPM
If you’re struggling with chronic pain and are considering trigger point injections or other advanced treatments, consider reaching out to a clinic in the HPM network. HPM operates a range of pain management clinics in rural communities across the country.
HPM’s medical specialists are trained to listen to each patient’s pain story to identify the true source of a person’s pain. They’re skilled in a variety of advanced treatments for chronic pain, including trigger point injections, nerve blocks, and radiofrequency ablations.
Visit our website today to find an HPM location near you and take a step towards managing your chronic pain.