Most people will experience some form of muscle pain in their life. Chronic myofascial pain is form of pain generated from tender points within our muscles. These are often referred to as trigger points. The pain can limit movement and be referred to other regions of the body producing a variety of other confusing symptoms. For example, a trigger point referring to the head can produce headaches. Trigger points can mimic other types of pain. In the hip it may produce pain similar to sciatica down the leg. In the thigh it can lead to knee pain. Trigger points are extremely common. They can be found by applying pressure over muscles which causes pain or tenderness over the trigger point.
Trigger point injections are very effective for the treatment of myofascial pain. In this procedure, a very thin needle is placed into the muscle trigger point and a small amount of sterile fluid containing electrolytes is injected. This often leads to immediate and long term relaxation of the tight muscles. I have found this treatment to be very effective in my practice.
Case 1: A 57 year old male presented to my office with shoulder pain. 15 years ago he had injured his shoulder at the gym and never fully recovered. He had been told the injury was likely a rotator cuff injury. His family doctor recommended rest, ice and physical therapy. This seemed to help his shoulder pain a bit but it would commonly get aggravated after sleeping on it or following a workout at the gym. If often prevented him from sleeping. His “go to” treatment prior to seeking care was muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories. My physical exam revealed multiple trigger points in the supraspinatus and trapezius muscles. Trigger point injections were performed to relax the tight muscles. That night he experienced complete pain relief in his shoulder and was able to sleep on his shoulder with no problem. He follows up for trigger point injections every 3-6 months as needed for pain and no longer requires anti-inflammatory drugs.
Myofascial injection therapy is effective for joint pain, back / neck pain and headaches.
Hyperirritable, tender muscles are a result of multiple factors such as nutritional deficiencies, past injury, joint instability and physical stress.
Long standing reduction of pain is expected in 4-6 treatments. On average 4 treatments.
Pain is a multifaceted health problem. More and more we are beginning to understand that natural approaches can lead to effective pain management solutions.