Trigger Point Injections – Performed by a top Rochester Hills Pain Management doctor
Normally, muscles contract and relax when they are active. Trigger points are knots or ropey, tight muscle bands that develop when muscles fail to relax completely. Often, these knots can be palpated underneath the skin and may involuntarily twitch when touched. Quite often, trigger points irritate area nerves which lead to referred pain. Loss of range of motion, weakness, and scar tissue can eventually develop.
A trigger point injection (TPI) is used as a treatment option in extremely painful muscle regions. It is administered in an attempt to alleviate a condition known as myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain in tissues surrounding muscles) that fails to respond to other conservative interventions. Several muscle groups are treated by TPIs. These include muscle groups of the legs, arms, neck, and lower back. TPIs are also utilized in the treatment of tension headaches and/or fibromyalgia.
A local anesthetic agent (lidocaine), with or without corticosteroid medication, is injected by way of a small needle directly into the trigger point. This alleviates a patient’s pain. Typically, prolonged pain relief can be achieved with a short course of injections.
Three Research Studies Concerning Trigger Point Injections
At the University of Granada Institute for Neuroscience research scientists conducted three studies in 2011, which confirmed that local anesthetic and botox injections, administered into various trigger points of the neck and pericraneal muscles, effectively decrease the frequency of migraine headaches in chronic migraine sufferers.
Researchers used a healthy subject group as well as a group of participants with a diagnosis of migraine headaches of any frequency. They discovered the presence of and location of trigger points. Many of the examinations resulted in migraine crises.
Interestingly, researchers found that 95% of chronic migraine sufferers have trigger points as compared to just 25% of healthy participants. Most common trigger point locations seemed to be the anterior temporal region and the bilateral suboccipital regions of the head. In addition, these scientists observed a positive correlation between the total number of trigger points, the number of monthly crises in a patient as well as the years of duration of their condition.
Granada Institute researchers conducted a subsequent study with 52 chronic migraine headache sufferers. Following the anesthetic injections, 18% of participants realized at least a 50% decrease in migraine crises frequency, while 38% of patients reported an 30 to 49% frequency reduction. In addition, 66% of all participants said that they felt “better” or “much better” overall.
During a third study, 25 chronic migraine patients were given a total of 12.5 botox injections, into each of their trigger points two times during one treatment session, over the course of 3 months. The main variable of migraine frequency, as well as migraine intensity and migraine crises scales were observed. These observations were recorded one month prior to the start of the trail and one month following TPI treatments in order to compare any changes.
Researchers also took note of side effects during the course of the trial. Any side effects were reported as mild or transient. Following completion of the injections, the most marked reduction in frequency of migraine crises was noticed at the 20th week of treatment. Similar findings occurred in moderate migraine crises as well as in the frequency of analgesic use.
University Pain Clinic of Rochester offers a number of innovative treatment and procedure options to reduce your chronic and acute pain. Use the form of phone number on this page to contact us and learn more about how we can reduce your pain!