Trigger point injections are used for the treatment of muscles causing pain when muscles are unable to relax. The pain is described as tender or painful to the touch when pressure is applied to the affected area. Trigger point injections can also be effective in the treatment of myofascial pain or chronic pain involving tissue that does not respond well to other types of treatment.
The muscles remain tight and weakened because it is never at rest due to the constant contractions or spasms. The tendons which attach the muscle then become inflamed, known as tendonitis, and pain develops on the joints, called arthralgia, from the constant tension created by the tendons and muscles. It’s this constant state of tension which creates the restricted blood flow causing an accumulation of lactic acid creating pain and causing more contractions and spasms – an almost endless cycle.
Knots and tight muscle areas are often misdiagnosed as arthritis. The muscle areas become very tender and are painful when pressure is applied. The pain can be referred, creating pain in other areas of the body. An example of referred pain could include pain from the low back moving down into the legs. Some trigger point muscle groups can put pressure on nearby nerves, known as pseudoradicular symptoms creating pain down an arm or a leg.
Because symptoms of pain may not be located near the affected area, known as myofascial, the area causing pain can be very difficult to locate. Other conditions may also mask similar symptoms of trigger point pain such as fibromyalgia which also has widespread pain and tenderness.
Successful treatment plans are developed for individual patients to pinpoint trigger points and to allow muscles to return to their normal state before pain developed.