Myofascial Trigger Point Injections

Myofascial pain syndrome develops when a muscle’s trigger point, or most sensitive areas, becomes compressed or knotted. This creates tightening and pain in the muscles. It can also cause pain in other areas of the body as well, which is known as referred pain. For many patients, myofascial trigger point injections help to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by this condition. Discover more about this outpatient treatment option in Newark, New Jersey. Reach out now to Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP) and consult Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn, a highly skilled Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician (PM&R) with specialized training and board certification.

About Trigger Points and Myofascial Pain Syndrome

A trigger point is the location where pain originates and radiates within the muscle and fascia, or the lining of sensitive connective tissue containing nerves, surrounding and holding the muscle in its place. Myofascial pain syndrome occurs generally after a patient’s muscle has been repetitively contracted, whether due to sports, stress-related tension, or on-the-job tasks. Though muscle tension pain is common, the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome persist and worsen over time and include:

  • Fatigue and/or trouble sleeping from being in pain
  • Feeling a tender knot within a muscle or muscles
  • Aching, deep pain affecting the muscle(s)
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle spasms

Who Is A Suitable Candidate For MTPI?

Individuals who suffer from chronic muscle pain, tension headaches, and other symptoms associated with myofascial pain syndrome may be suitable candidates for myofascial trigger point injections. Additionally, patients who have not experienced adequate relief from other conservative treatments such as medication or physical therapy may benefit from MTPI. It’s essential for patients to undergo a thorough evaluation by a qualified healthcare provider to determine if MTPI is the right treatment option for their individual needs.

How Myofascial Trigger Point Injections Can Help

In a brief and targeted procedure, a myofascial trigger point injection places a long-lasting anesthetic and, in some cases, an anti-inflammatory medication into the troublesome trigger point(s). This treatment option is designed to reduce pain, improve mobility, and relieve other symptoms. The duration of relief is variable but generally assists with alleviation and often resolution of the pain. These injections can be administered repeatedly as a part of a patient’s personalized pain management plan if deemed appropriate and successful.

How Long Does It Take To See Results?

The timeframe for experiencing pain relief and improved muscle function after myofascial trigger point injections can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. Some patients may notice significant improvement shortly after the procedure, while others may require multiple injections or additional therapies to achieve optimal results. In general, most patients experience noticeable improvement within a few days to weeks following MTPI, with continued improvement over time as the effects of the injections take full effect.

What Should I Expect During a Myofascial Trigger Point Injection?

First, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn will identify the trigger point’s location and sterilize your skin. Once the needle is inserted into the trigger point, medicine will be injected, and the doctor will use a technique to break up the muscle band to allow for subsequent healing of the muscles. Patients should experience only minimal discomfort throughout the procedure, including a mild stinging or burning sensation in the muscle.

The team at Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP) will then monitor your pain levels after the procedure. If necessary, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn may prescribe a course of repeat injections on a timeline that makes the most sense for your needs and goals.

Risks and Side Effects of Trigger Point Injections

Potential Risks

While myofascial trigger point injections are generally safe, there are some potential risks associated with the procedure. These include infection at the injection site, nerve damage, and allergic reactions to the medication used. Our skilled team at Prospect Spine and Pain minimizes these risks through their extensive experience and meticulous attention to safety protocols.

How to Minimize Risks

To further reduce potential risks, it’s crucial for patients to disclose their full medical history, including any allergies or medications they’re currently taking. Additionally, following post-procedure care instructions, such as applying heat or cold to the injection site, can help prevent complications and promote healing. Regular physical therapy sessions can also be beneficial in managing myofascial pain after the injection.

Common Side Effects and How to Manage Them

  • Temporary soreness at the injection site
  • Bruising or redness
  • Mild swelling or discomfort

These side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own within a few days. However, if you experience persistent or worsening symptoms, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs can help alleviate any discomfort.

Misconceptions About Myofascial Trigger Point Injections

Despite their effectiveness in treating myofascial pain and trigger points, there are several common misconceptions about myofascial trigger point injections. One misconception is that MTPI are only a temporary solution and does not provide long-lasting pain relief. In reality, many patients experience significant and sustained improvement in their symptoms after undergoing MTPI, especially when combined with other therapies such as physical therapy. Another misconception is that MTPIs are painful or invasive procedures. While some patients may experience temporary discomfort during the injection process, it is generally well-tolerated and offers significant benefits in terms of pain management and muscle function.

Lifestyle Tips for Those Living With Myofascial Pain

In conjunction with trigger point injections, you can follow these lifestyle tips to help further manage chronic muscle pain:

  • Regular Exercise: Engage in low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga to improve flexibility, strength, and circulation. Avoid high-impact activities that may exacerbate muscle pain.
  • Maintain Good Posture: Practice proper ergonomics at work and home to reduce strain on muscles and joints. Use supportive chairs and ergonomic equipment, and take frequent breaks to stretch and move around.
  • Stress Management: Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness into your daily routine to reduce stress levels, which can contribute to muscle tension and pain.
  • Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to support overall health and reduce inflammation. Avoid processed foods, excessive caffeine, and alcohol, which can worsen pain and inflammation.
  • Quality Sleep: Prioritize sleep hygiene by establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to restful sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for pain management and overall well-being.
  • Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to support optimal muscle function and prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate muscle pain and stiffness.
  • Gentle Stretching: Incorporate gentle stretching exercises into your daily routine to improve flexibility and relieve muscle tension. Focus on stretching the muscles affected by your condition, but avoid overstretching or pushing through pain.
  • Heat and Cold Therapy: Use heat packs or warm showers to relax tense muscles and improve blood flow, or try cold packs to numb painful areas and reduce inflammation. Experiment with both to see which provides the most relief for your symptoms.
  • Supportive Devices: Consider using supportive devices such as orthopedic pillows, ergonomic chairs, or braces to provide additional support and alleviate strain on affected muscles and joints.

Why Choose Us for Myofascial Trigger Point Injections

Choosing Prospect Spine and Pain for your myofascial trigger point injections means choosing a team that prioritizes your health and wellbeing. Our expert practitioners are committed to providing the highest standard of care, ensuring that each patient receives a personalized treatment plan designed to alleviate their myofascial pain and improve their quality of life. Trust us to guide you on your path to pain relief and improved mobility.

Find Relief for Myofascial Pain in Newark, NJ

At Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP), Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn is an experienced pain management and physiatry specialist who performs minimally invasive procedures to help reduce pain and improve function. Before surgery is considered, qualified patients may find success with non-invasive modalities such as myofascial trigger point injections.

To learn more about your options for treating your myofascial pain, contact us today to schedule a consultation in Newark, NJ. Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn and our team will identify the root cause of your pain, conduct a thorough examination, and discuss the best ways to address your symptoms.