Trigger points are areas of muscle that have become over-sensitive or irritated due to an increase in muscle tension. When pressed, a trigger point can cause your muscle to twitch.
Trigger points not only cause pain in the affected area but can also cause referred pain, affecting another area of the body. For example, a trigger point in your shoulder or face could cause pain in your neck or head.
Trigger points can be caused by several factors, including injury, trauma, or inflammation.
If you have trigger points within the muscles of your head, neck, and shoulders, they can cause headaches. This condition is known as myofascial pain.
Also, trigger points can be present if you suffer from migraines, tension-type, post-traumatic, and other headache disorders. They also have the possibility of exacerbating an underlying headache condition.
If you are suffering from migraines, contact our headache specialists and schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our team of doctors located in the U.S. Virgin Islands looks forward to helping you relieve your migraine pain!
A trigger point injection is a procedure used to relieve muscle pain. The injection usually contains a local anesthetic.
Trigger point injections should reduce pain in the affected muscle and the area of referred pain. When trigger points are the cause of migraines, they will also help to relieve them.
Trigger point injections for headache disorders are very safe and have limited side effects. Some of the common side effects of having a trigger point injection may include:
If the injection contains steroid medication, then repeated use may also cause the following side effects at the injection site:
If you have specific trigger points that can be found through a physical examination, you will likely get the most relief from these injections.
Trigger point injections may also provide immediate relief for severe pain from an individual tension-type headache or a migraine attack. Additionally, they are very effective in relieving head pain from chronic headache disorders.
During the trigger point procedure, your doctor will insert a small needle into the trigger point or the affected muscle. Trigger point injections will contain a mixture of saline and a local anesthetic. In some cases, your doctor will also include a steroid medication to help with inflammation.
Trigger point injections can be performed in your doctor’s office and do not require a lengthy visit or sedation. You may be asked to sit or lay down while the injections are being administered.
The doctor will first perform a physical exam to identify where your trigger points are. After discovering where the trigger points are, your doctor will inject each one.
You may require more than one injection, depending on how many trigger points are found. Peripheral nerve blocks may also be administered during the same treatment session.
The anesthetic medication that is injected into the trigger point blocks the pain receptors in the nerves surrounding the affected muscle. This works to reduce the pain signals that are being sent to the brain.
When steroid medication is combined with the injection, thus reducing the inflammation in the surrounding tissue. This can also have a pain-reducing effect as pressure is taken off the surrounding nerves.
The mechanical effect of inserting the needle alone can have a beneficial effect in providing pain relief. Inserting a needle into a muscle can separate, relax and lengthen the muscle fibers, adding further relief. Doing this can actually be beneficial without the medication for those who are allergic to anesthetic medication.
The injections usually provide relief from pain immediately after they have been injected. This pain relief will be felt in the affected muscle and wherever you had referred pain, either in the head or neck. Some experience significant pain relief that can last for several weeks.
Immediately after the injection, you can return to your normal daily activities. Our headache specialists may recommend repeating the injections later on in order to provide you with continued relief.
Contact our headache specialists today at Virgin Islands Neurology! Our caring doctors located in the U.S. Virgin Islands are ready to help you with your migraine pain. We can work together to create a treatment plan that can give you the results you are looking for!
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