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Trigger Point Injections

Trigger points are small very tender areas in muscles that can cause pain, often in an area distance to the actual trigger point and they often result due to injury to the muscle.  Usually soft tissue damage heals over a period of time but often may result in scar formation, which produces a hard or tight band within the muscle that can be felt with the fingertips.  The scar tissue and resulting trigger point can entrap nerves and interfere with blood flow increasing inflammation and often setting up a cycle of ongoing pain. The presence of trigger points if missed or inadequately treated may be the source of ongoing chronic pain and dysfunction.  The fact that trigger points are often far removed from the area where the pain is felt makes diagnosis in some instances very difficult to make.  Physical Therapy or Chiropractic treatment may improve the pain temporarily, but may fail to eliminate the trigger point and therefore the pain often starts up again with provocative activities.  Pain from trigger points may make it difficult to relax and fall asleep or sleep soundly.

The exact cause of the development of trigger points may be an accidental fall, whiplash injury or other sudden movements producing local muscle and ligament tears or sprains.  Overexertion from repetitive movements at work or in sports may produce injuries such as tennis elbow, pitchers arm or secretaries neck, but even these conditions are often perpetuated by the presence of trigger points.  Other causes consist of pinched nerves (causing muscle spasm in the neck, back or limbs) as well as prolonged tension, lack of exercise, poor posture, tensing ones jaw and teeth grinding.  Hormonal or endocrine disturbances such as thyroid deficiency or low estrogen or testosterone production may affect the chemistry within the muscles, resulting in widespread muscle aches and pains and trigger points.

Trigger points are often involved as perpetuating factors in arthritic pain, bursitis and tendinitis, heel spurs and pain in the sole of the foot, frozen shoulder or rotator cuff tendinitis and even scoliosis.  They can be treated by a number of techniques involving the use of cooling sprays and stretch, direct massage and ischemic pressure, dry needling, electrical stimulation, and even injection of local anesthetics with or without cortisone.  These techniques are aimed at deactivating the trigger points in the hope of reducing symptoms.  It is important that active trigger points involved in the production of the complained of pain are all treated even though it may be that some of them are more active than others.  There are also points which are termed latent trigger points.  These are tender but do not refer pain.  These latent trigger points can however given the right circumstance sometimes become active trigger points then creating pain.

Trigger points in many areas can also be self treated by the use of simple massage techniques using for example hard balls and specialized massage gadgets.  If specific items are recommended by kinetics practitioners then many of these can be purchased from Medical Supply Companies and some through Kinetics.