Are you trying to learn all you can about trigger point injections? First, we can start with the good news. You can get trigger point injections right here in the Boulder area. In fact, this is a very easy, non-invasive treatment that can be performed during a short office visit. There’s also another piece of good news to talk about with trigger point injections. It turns out they can be extremely effective for treating pain and dysfunction. According to a 2018 study, trigger point injections provide better results than a home exercise program and oral medications in some patients.

Countless people are already using trigger point injections to treat muscle pain. Injections can be used to treat common “pain points” in parts of the body that include:

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Lower back
  • Neck

Many people suffering from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia utilize trigger point injections for whole-body pain relief. Trigger point injections can also be useful for treating everything from tension headaches to myofascial pain. Of course, you may be wondering why these injections are so beneficial for so many different types of pain. Next, take a look at seven things you should know about trigger point injections if you’re considering this option.

trigger therapy louisville1. Trigger Point Injections Have Been Developed Specifically to Work on Trigger Point Pain

What exactly is trigger point pain? There’s no doubt you’ve heard the term tossed around if you’re at the point where you’re looking for trigger point injection providers in Boulder. However, you may not be fully clear on what it really means.

“Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle,” according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Trigger points produce pain locally in a referred pattern. In most cases, trigger points accompany some type of musculoskeletal disorder. The truth is that painful trigger points are more common than most people assume. That’s because roughly 23% of Americans are living with one or more chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. It works out to be about 10% of the nation’s population.

What causes trigger points? There are actually several different underlying reasons for developing trigger points. In some cases, you may never know what caused your trigger point pain. However, we do know that stress, poor posture, repetitive motion, and the lingering effects of healed injuries that were never properly treated are the major causes of trigger points. Many people who overuse certain muscle groups due to sports, working out, or their jobs experience trigger points. In addition, muscle atrophy that is caused by awkward positioning that is held for long periods of time can cause trigger points.

2. There Are Actually Two Different Types of Trigger Points That You Can Experience

This is where things get interesting for trigger point injections. When we’re treating pain with these injections, we’re not just focusing on one type of pain. Trigger points can actually be classified in two separate categories.

The first type of trigger point is an active trigger point. Do you experience pain while you’re at rest? There’s a good chance you have an active trigger point. In addition to causing pain around the clock, active trigger points create tenderness. Someone with an active trigger point will usually experience something called referred pain. This means that your pain can be described as a “spreading” or “radiating” pain.

The second type of trigger point is a latent trigger point. Can you describe your pain as something that “comes and goes” throughout the day? You probably have a latent trigger point. The defining feature of a latent trigger point is that it does not cause spontaneous pain. However, having one can still be a very painful experience that leaves you on edge because you’re unsure about when pain will sneak up on you. In addition to causing pain and discomfort, latent trigger points may also cause muscle weakness and restricted movement.

3. Trigger Points Can Often Be Identified by a Twitch Response That Makes Your Skin Dimple

When you visit a medical professional for help with suspected trigger point pain, expect something a little unusual to happen. The first test that many care providers use to narrow down your pain to a trigger point involves eliciting something called a local twitch response.

Generally, a care provider will apply perpendicular pressure over your trigger point using what can be described as a snapping movement. At this point, it’s very common for the trigger point to create a visible or palpable contraction. You may even see a dimpling of your muscle and skin. What you’re watching is the tense, taut fiber muscles of the trigger point contracting in response to the pressure.

trigger point injection louisville4. Trigger Point Injections Involve a Small Needle

Here at Louisville Medical Center, there’s one common question that we get from people who are interested in trying trigger point injections for the first time. Do trigger point injections involve needs? Yes, a trigger point injection is a needle injection. During a trigger point injection, we insert a small need into the trigger point being treated. Rest assured that we’ll do everything possible to put your mind at ease if you don’t have an affinity for needles. Overall, our patients find this to be a very gentle, fast procedure that involves minimal discomfort. What’s more, even our patients who are not fans of needles find that a brief encounter with a needle is more than worth it for the relief and pain management benefits they experience almost immediately.

5. Trigger Point Injections Usually Use Corticosteroids

What’s in a trigger point injection? This is the second common question that we get from patients interested in trying trigger point injections near Boulder for the first time. Generally, trigger point injections use a cortisone-like medicine called a corticosteroid to provide relief for swelling and inflammation. Injections will also usually contain anesthetic or saline.

6. You Can Still Do Trigger Point Injections If You Have Allergies

You may be wondering if you can do trigger point injections if you have allergies to certain medications. The answer is that you can still enjoy the benefits of trigger point injections even if you’re concerned about having allergic reactions to the ingredients in trigger point injections. However, you will need to use a modified version of a trigger point injection called dry needling. With dry needling, you’re stimulating the trigger point without actually injecting anything at the site. A care provider using a dry needling technique will insert the dry needle through the skin in the same muscle areas that would be used with classic trigger point injections.

7. Trigger Point Injections Can Be Combined With Other Treatments for Effective, Sustained Relief

“Trigger point injections can be wonderful adjunctive or primary therapy, alongside muscle relaxants, and other medications aimed at decreasing pain in the musculoskeletal system,” according to a clinical analysis published in 2021. There’s no need to feel like you have to focus exclusively on trigger point injections to get relief. You can even get trigger point injections even if you’re already working with a physical or physical therapist to treat muscle pain and dysfunction.

While trigger point injections have been shown to be more effective than other treatment options, the truth is that combining injections with other therapeutic treatments can provide an advantage for getting fast, sustained results if you’re eager to resume everything from your normal exercise routine to your standard work duties. Here at Louisville Medical Center outside of Boulder, many of our patients use trigger point injections as part of a wider plan that might involve manual adjustments to correct spinal misalignments, customer stretching exercises, range-of-motion exercises, and massage therapy.

It’s also important to note that more than one trigger point can be treated at once using trigger point injections. In addition, multiple injections can be used for a single trigger point. Generally, patients are advised to receive several injections over a span of several weeks. Subsequent injections may be recommended using one session every two to three months after that. Deciding on a plan for injection timing and frequency really comes down to tailoring a custom plan to address your pain source. Getting the biggest benefit from trigger point injections all comes down to working with a trained, knowledgeable care provider capable of helping you receive the maximum benefit from your trigger point injections.

pain louisvilleWho Can Benefit From Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point pain can happen to any person at any age. The simple answer is that trigger point injections can be beneficial for anyone suffering from trigger point pain.

Common signs of trigger points:

  • Deep, aching pain in your muscle
  • Persisting or worsening muscle pain
  • A noticeable tender knot in your muscle
  • Stiffness
  • Tingling
  • Feeling a temperature difference in a specific area
  • Involuntary muscle contraction
  • Localized muscle weakness
  • Localized muscle fatigue

Many people with trigger points will have difficulty sleeping due to pain. Something that’s especially interesting about trigger point symptoms is that they aren’t always what they appear to be. That’s because it’s entirely possible to feel your worst trigger point symptoms near the site of the point without actually feeling pain at the point. This is what’s known as referred pain. You’re more likely to experience referred trigger point pain if your trigger point has closed in on a nerve bundle. While most people will only experience a single trigger point at one time, a person with a chronic pain disorder might experience widespread trigger points throughout the entire body.

Are You Ready to Book an Appointment for Trigger Point Injections Near Boulder, Colorado?

Louisville Medical Center in Louisville, Colorado is pleased to offer trigger point injections for Boulder residents as part of our long list of holistic, cutting-edge treatments for pain relief and wellness. Dr. Nicholas Hamilton is an experienced trigger point injection practitioner. Our entire team is waiting to help you find the relief you’re looking for using this proven technique that can potentially help you to live without pain. Each appointment typically takes just 15 minutes. Following your injection, you can resume your day without any need for recovery or downtime. In fact, this treatment can easily be done during a lunch break!

If you’re concerned about injections because you suffer from allergies, we will be happy to work with you to create a plan for dry needling. We also offer a wide variety of noninvasive therapies designed to treat and relieve symptoms caused by a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. It all starts with a consultation to discuss your pain symptoms with a qualified care provider at Louisville Medical Center. You can schedule your appointment today by giving us a call at (303) 666-7717, or booking online.