When muscles are constantly tense, they may begin to form knots that can be felt through the skin, called trigger points. Tender to the touch, trigger points may cause inhibited motion or increased weakness of the muscle they affect. The knots may also negatively affect the nerves surrounding the muscle, causing pain to manifest in other areas of the body. A person is more likely to develop trigger points if they do not exercise regularly, have poor posture, perform repetitive motions, sleep irregularly, or do not maintain balanced levels of vitamins. Additionally, those with myofascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia are more likely to have trigger points.
Trigger point injections are highly effective when it comes to relieving the pain associated with tensed muscles. A needle is inserted into the trigger point, and a local anesthetic and/or steroid is shot into the area. The injection helps to relax the muscle, decrease pain, and improve motion in related areas. When combined with other treatments, such as therapeutic stretching of the tense area, trigger point injections can help to provide long-term relief.
Side effects and outcomes are unique to each patient and will be discussed before any treatment options are prescribed.