In April’s first blog, we discussed why Dr. Trujillo uses injection therapy for certain patients in certain situations. We discussed the use of corticosteroid injections to treat the ongoing joint inflammation of arthritis.
In April’s second springy blog, let’s get into two other injection therapies, epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections.
Epidural steroid injections
Epidural steroid injections may be used to treat chronic neck and back pain caused by bulging discs, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis. These conditions work to place pressure on the spinal cord itself, or on the nerve roots exiting the spinal canal down into the arms and legs. When these nerves become compressed by bulging spinal discs or bone spurs, the result will be back or neck pain, and pain that will likely radiate down to the area served by the compressed nerve or nerves.
Dr. Trujillo places epidural injections into the epidural space that surrounds the dura, the membrane that covers the nerve roots in the spine. For these injections x-ray guidance is a necessity. Local anesthetic is then injected into the target area, followed by the injection of the corticosteroid into the space where the nerve is inflamed. These injections can relieve pain for several months.
Trigger point injections
Trigger points are small, hypersensitive knots in the muscle tissue. They can cause pain in the area surrounding the knot and can also refer pain to other parts of the body. Trigger points are most common in the back and shoulders, but they can occur in other muscles, as well.
Trigger point injections can break down the knot in singular cases. In cases such as myofascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia it’s likely additional trigger points will form. Still, these injections can be very effective for relieving the pain.
To administer a trigger pint injection, Dr. Trujillo locates the trigger point by feeling the knot with his fingertips. He may use a local anesthetic to numb the area prior to the injection. Then he inserts a needle into the trigger point and injects a mix of corticosteroid and lidocaine.
In many cases, patients experience relief from their trigger point after just one injection. As mentioned, for chronic conditions, these injections may be an ongoing process.
If you’re dealing with chronic pain, please give us a call at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, (855) 768-4968. We can help.