The minimally invasive procedure benefits those with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, which affects 5 million Americans ages 18 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, sleep problems, fatigue, and often, psychological distress. Some people also report restless leg syndrome, bowel or bladder problems, numbness and tingling, and sensitivity to noise, light, or temperature. The condition can lead to disability.
Trigger points are focus areas of spasm and inflammation in skeletal muscle. These points generally feel like a knot or nodule that is tender or painful to the touch. In some cases the pain then radiates out to the surrounding area.
Trigger points commonly accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders and conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, neck pain, lower back pain, frozen shoulder, and myofascial pain syndrome. Acute trauma or repetitive minor injury can also lead to the development of trigger points.
The trigger point injections offered at the University Pain Medicine Center involve the injection of a local anesthetic with or without cortisone (a steroid) into the muscle where patients have tenderness or pain. The injection forces the trigger point to become inactive and the pain is alleviated. A brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief.
The medication will provide long-term pain relief, while the anesthetic will work temporarily. The injections are a quick outpatient procedure in a doctor’s office, usually taking just a few minutes and no recovery time. The injections are generally used to treat muscle groups in the neck, arms, lower back, and legs.
Those experiencing chronic pain often benefit greatly from trigger point injections. They also act as an effective supplement to overall rehabilitation programs, and allow many geriatric patients to persevere through their programs without feeling overwhelmed by pain.
The University Pain Medicine Center is committed to helping patients manage their acute and chronic pain or recover from their injuries. Its board-certified physicians work out of five offices in New Jersey and New York.