A stiff, painful neck. A deep ache in your lower back. A tight knot of muscle in your shoulder that just won’t go away. All these symptoms and more could indicate a common — but painful — musculoskeletal condition known as a trigger point.
Trigger points are highly sensitive bundles of muscle and the irritated nerves around them. Trigger points can develop over time or seemingly out of nowhere, and they can be a source of significant chronic pain.
If you have a tender and painful knot of muscle, don’t ignore it. Edward Carden, MD, and our team specialize in interventional pain management, and we can treat trigger point pain with minimally invasive injections.
When to consider trigger point injections
Trigger points are tense bundles of muscle that don’t relax, no matter how hard you try. They can form as a result of physical injury, ongoing muscle stress, or even emotional stress.
Repetitive movements and poor posture can exacerbate trigger point pain. At-home care, like massage or anti-inflammatory medication, can reduce it.
But while you may be able to minimize your pain with at-home care or by restricting the activities that irritate your trigger point, avoiding activities due to pain can quickly limit your life.
If your pain persists for more than a few days, schedule an appointment with Dr. Carden. He’s experienced in diagnosing trigger points, and he may recommend minimally invasive trigger point injections for trigger points located in your:
Trigger point injections may also have benefits for chronic pain conditions, including tension headaches, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.
The benefits of trigger point injections
If you’re living with ongoing pain, Dr. Carden and our team can identify the cause and recommend a pain management strategy for you. Trigger point injections are a nonsurgical solution for persistent trigger point pain.
With a single small injection, Dr. Carden administers medication to relax the muscles in your trigger point. The medication in trigger point injections varies, but yours might include a local anesthetic, a corticosteroid, or even botulinum toxin A (Botox®).
You may feel a crunching sensation in your muscle as Dr. Carden makes the injection, but any symptoms should fade as your muscles start to relax. The procedure takes just a few minutes, and you should start noticing pain relief within a few days.
People who get anesthetic-only trigger point injections may experience pain relief for about a month, while people who get steroid trigger point injections can enjoy pain relief for several months at a time.
Depending on your condition, Dr. Carden may recommend a series of trigger point injections.
Chronic muscle pain can limit your life, but trigger point injections could offer real relief. Learn more about trigger points and find out if a trigger point injection is right for you with a consultation. Call our Sherman Oaks, California, office or book online now.