Trigger point injections are a relatively new and controversial technique for treating chronic or recurrent acute lower back pain. Back pain is one of the most common ailments, with almost half of all adults experiencing some type of back pain in their lifetime. It is one of the most frequent medical treatments, yet surprisingly, despite its widespread use, its effectiveness is still in question.
The first questions that should be asked are why exactly the injection is needed, and how it works. After an injection, the site of pain is numbed for several hours to allow for the medication to work. Some of these medications, such as Codeine and Oxycodone, are addictive. Others, like Tenex, are non-addictive. As with any medication, these may cause dependency. So it is extremely important to consult your doctor if you have any history of addiction.
Side Effects of Injection
For many years, injections were used only by plastic surgeons. They have since discovered that the same drugs can be delivered along with the muscle’s underlying ligament, thereby allowing for increased effectiveness. The main complaint with injections is pain; indeed, any time someone has had one, they always complain about the pain. This pain is often described as a sharp, shooting or stabbing. Patients commonly state that they cannot sleep at night because the pain wakes them up in the middle of the night. Injections allow the muscle to be free to heal itself after receiving the shot, without the patient having to bear the constant pain that many people feel.
It’s important to understand how trigger points are created, in order to better understand how injections might benefit sufferers of chronic back pain. The trigger point is a muscle knot, which has two parts – a central hub, surrounded by a ring of surrounding fibers. When this muscle becomes irritated, it is a signal that the nerve that controls the knots is being damaged. The pain that is felt can usually be felt around the area of the trigger point, but it has also been known to be very sensitive to touch, as well as to movement.
Where Do Trigger Points Occur?
Trigger points do not just occur on one part of the body. Many patients have been known to experience them in multiple areas. For example, if you are interested in obtaining relief from lower back pain, trigger point injections may be beneficial. Trigger points can occur anywhere along your sciatic nerve’s length from the bottom of your neck to your toes, although they are most common in your lower back. However, there are some patients who have had success with injections to the buttock, and others who have had good results with injections to the sacral area of the lower back.
Injections to the trigger point typically work by numbing the nerve, effectively making it incapable of sending pain signals. Because these nerves can become damaged over the course of one’s lifetime, they may eventually fail. As such, a physician may feel that an injection will stop the pain from continuing or help alleviate it when it begins to happen. Injections can also be used when other treatments, such as physical therapy, have not been successful.
Even though trigger point injections are generally used for relief of chronic lower back pain, it is important to realize that this is not a cure for the condition. The injections are meant to reduce chronicity, not treat the source of the pain. Because the injections are meant to control chronicity, it is not uncommon for people to receive multiple injections over their lifetime.
It is important to discuss trigger point injections with your physician before you decide whether or not they would be appropriate for your situation. Remember that these injections can have some side effects, and they are only effective if you use them for your chronic lower back pain. You should also understand that the procedure is considered an outpatient procedure, which means that you will not have to stay in the hospital for recovery. Most physicians suggest patients consider trying non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve their symptoms, but they have not been proven to be as effective as trigger point injections. If you suffer from acute lower back pain that does not respond to NSAIDs, you may want to look into trigger point injections. As always, talk to your doctor about any health concerns you have, and follow their recommendations in order to get the best treatment for your situation.