If you suffer from tension headaches, you understand how they can ruin your day. Over-the-counter medications can work for a while, but you may not want to rely on them forever. Luckily, trigger point injections (TPI) can help treat your headaches at the source. Here is how they work and how to decide if TPI is the best treatment for you.
What Are Trigger Points?
You may wonder what a trigger point is and why you might need to get an injection there. A trigger point is a sensitive area of muscle fibers that tighten after overuse. These microtraumas cause muscle fibers to tighten and become tense. Repeated tightening creates pain and discomfort, leading to trigger points.
Risk Factors For Trigger Points
Several things can increase the risk of developing trigger points. One of the common risk factors for trigger points is stress. Research suggests that people tense up certain muscle regions in response to stress. The repeated strain on the muscles can cause trigger points to form in your body.
Other risk factors for trigger point development include:
- Lack of exercise
- Being middle-aged
- Poor posture
- Sleep disturbances
How Do Trigger Point Injections Work?
Trigger point injections are an aggressive treatment option when conservative measures are ineffective. The injections target pain by isolating sensitive areas. Medications usually consist of an anesthetic and corticosteroid mixture. This combination helps relax tense muscles and ease your pain.
From start to finish, the procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete. Afterward, you’re encouraged to stretch, move, and test your range of motion.
Do Trigger Point Injections Hurt?
The fear of pain from needles is quite common. We do our best to ensure the process is as painless as possible.
Some people report that injections sting, but the pain doesn’t last long. At Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, doctors apply an anesthetic cream to the area before the injection to minimize discomfort.
How Often Do I Need to Get Trigger Point Injections?
Some people get pain relief after one injection, but others need several injections. The number of rejections required for optimal pain relief varies for each person.
If you’re interested in learning more about trigger point injections, we are happy to help. Call our Show Low, AZ office today at (928) 532-1605 to schedule a consultation.