People wonder to themselves “Do trigger point injections hurt?” It is a question that I get asked quite often from clients who are considering laser therapy for chronic painful conditions like fibromyalgia, ME/CFS or chronic pain syndromes. To put it in simple terms, the anesthetic used during a trigger point injection is not actually doing anything for your body. There is nothing that will give you pain relief from a painless injection.
Trigger point injections only serve to stimulate new tissue growth at the site of the injection. What this means is that the injected substance will not repair any tissue damage that you might have. In fact, these tissue therapies don’t heal anything either. For this reason, people who are considering these treatments should also know that they will not cure anything and that they do not improve your quality of life by curing you at all.
What do trigger points and myofascial release work towards? These treatments attempt to remove knots and damaged tissue from around the area of the injection. It is these knots and damaged areas that are the root of chronic pain. This type of chronic pain can be caused by pulled and strained muscles, stress caused by imbalances, and much more. Trigger point therapy attempts to break up and eliminate the knots that are causing you pain.
Trigger point injections are not done with a needle but with a tiny device called a cannula that is inserted into the exact same area where the injection site is. The device is shaped like a pistol and is pushed or twirled into the exact spot. The pressure from the movement of the cannula causes the nerves underneath the skin to contract, thus releasing the knot that was binding your body and causing all of the above mentioned pain. You will most likely feel some tightening as the needle moves through your body and into the exact spot where the point injection is going to be performed. You will also experience some minor bruising, swelling, and possibly some slight discomfort after the procedure.
Trigger point injections may also be administered using another method called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). There is a small electrical current that flows through the area and it has the same effect as a physical touch, however, this is much milder than having a needle inserted into your body. Sometimes TENS will be combined with ultrasound to help get even more relief from the pain. Trigger point injections may also be combined with radio frequency ablation, which is used for the similar purpose of muscle strain, to treat chronic conditions.
Do trigger point injections hurt, or even feel like they are hurting? Depending on the person and the amount of damage that are present at the time of the procedure, you may experience some localized pain and swelling. You may experience mild to moderate discomfort and your physical therapy and chiropractic appointments may make you feel more comfortable.
So, how does lidocaine work to help with trigger point injections? The answer is very simply – lidocaine is an analgesic. It works quickly to reduce your pain and swelling before your body experiences any significant change. This type of procedure typically takes about ten minutes and you will be able to return to work and most similar activities immediately afterward. You may experience some soreness for a day or two after the procedure, but it should not be a significant problem. If you experience any difficulty in moving or swelling after the procedure, your chiropractor will likely give you acetaminophen to relieve the problem.
You may also receive instruction from your chiropractor to avoid lifting or straining your neck, although this is not normally necessary with this type of procedure. Your chiropractor will be able to give you further instructions if you are interested in trigger point injections to help with your lower back pain. He or she will be able to determine which treatments are appropriate for your particular situation. In general chiropractic treatments can be very effective in the relief of your back pain, but it is important that you keep any shots or prescriptions up to date. If you do have a current condition, your chiropractor may not be able to help you with your underlying condition and recommending other treatment is not recommended.