Approximately 10% of the population in the United States struggles with a chronic musculoskeletal disorder, leaving them with a considerable amount of pain and limitations. Making matters worse, these disorders often cause tension in your soft tissues, which can lead to trigger points in your muscles and fascia (the tissue surrounding your muscles) — and more pain.
At Valiant Life Medical, our team of integrative specialists understands the effects that active trigger points can have on your body, and our goal is to help our patients find much-needed relief.
With that in mind, here’s a look at what trigger points are and how we can address them.
Trigger points 101
Even if you’ve never heard the term “trigger point,” you likely understand what they are. Also called muscle knots, these balls of tension develop in taut myofascial tissue, producing local pain and tenderness as well as radiating pain in other parts of your body.
Trigger points typically develop when a certain area of muscle is contracted over and over, and the tissue tenses or spasms as a result. In many cases, this occurs when your body is trying to protect an injured area and calls upon surrounding muscle that may not be able to handle the additional workload.
In other instances, you may have muscle tension due to stress or anxiety, leaving you more vulnerable to developing trigger points.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether you’ve developed a trigger point is to push on the area of tension. Many trigger points can be felt near the surface of your skin, though some may be buried deeper. If you experience pain or muscle twitching when you press on the area, the odds are good that you’ve developed a trigger point.
While trigger points are typically muscle knots, they’re also associated with:
- Tension headaches
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
No matter how your trigger point developed, your goal is to find relief from the pain, and we can help.
Trigger point injections
In order to release the tension inside your trigger point, we turn to trigger point injections. In most cases, we inject a combination of a local anesthetic for the pain and a steroid to combat inflammation. These injections go to work immediately to relax your muscles, releasing the knot and relieving your pain.
While the medications in our trigger point injections work quickly to address your pain, the injection of the needle itself is often enough to release the tension. In a treatment called dry needling, we simply insert a needle directly into your trigger point, which interrupts the spasm, causing your tissue to release the tension.
If you suspect you’ve developed trigger points, please contact our office in Fort Worth, Texas, to schedule your trigger point injections.