Myofascial pain syndrome or muscle pain the inflammation in the body’s soft tissues, affecting the connective tissues that cover the muscles, which may also involve a single muscle or a group of muscles.
According to WebMD, these are the common causes of Chronic Muscle Pain:
- Excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament or tendon
- Injury to muscle fibers
- Repetitive motions
- Lack of activity (such as having a broken arm in a sling)
Meanwhile, the following are its symptoms:
- Muscle pain on specific “trigger” or “tender” points
- Trigger points are parts of the muscle that are painful to palpation and are characterized by the presence of taut bands and the generation of a referral pattern of pain (Borg-Sten & Stein, 1996).
- Tender points are areas of tenderness occurring in muscle, muscle-tendon junction, bursa, or fat pad (Borg-Sten & Stein, 1996).
Those affected with the disorder also can suffer from depression, fatigue, and behavioral disturbances.
Acute low back pain
Acute low back pain is one of the most common complaints in musculoskeletal consultation clinics is mainly associated with trigger points in the muscle tissue (Atlas, 2001). An effective, nonoperative way to cure these pains are trigger point injections, targeted at myofascial trigger points, which are thought to be hyperirritable foci in muscles and fascia associated with taut muscle bands (Malanga & Nadler, 1999). Studies show that Trigger point injections can be an effective primary or adjunctive therapy aimed at decreasing pain in the musculoskeletal system (Hammi & Schroeder, 2020), as these injections target key points of myofascial pain, directing treating pathological tissues and target what causes the patient’s pain. These injections effectively break the cycle, leaving barely traces of side effects. Injections like these are performed under the aseptic technique and appropriate follow-up injections are recommended and deemed necessary in order to assess the patient’s response to the injection and evaluate its effectiveness.
Lower Back Disc Herniations
Medically known as Lumbar Disc Herniation, Lower Back Disc Herniations are common causes of nerve root pain which results from the displacement of the nucleus pulposus inside the vertebral canal and is a common problem that is treated by both primary care and specialty physicians (Dernet et. al, 2018). Its effect in nerve roots often leads to lumbosacral radiculopathy, which is often treated with trigger point injections. In a recent study, patients given Trigger Point Injections were compared to those that only did an exercise program. Both control groups were monitored at the same time. The study showed that patients that had trigger point injections had significantly reduced pain and improved functional status as compared to those that only did exercises. The study showed that patients with the said ailment had more favorable results through the trigger point injection. It is suggested by researchers that these injections should be part of the treatment of Lower Back Disc Herniations.
Chronic Shoulder Pain
According to Thapa et. al (2016), Chronic shoulder pain accounts for 20%–50% of all musculoskeletal problems. This is commonly caused by bursitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, and ruptures to any of the tendons. Trigger point injections are considered as one of the most effective ways to treat this and is one of the only nonoperative ways to do so. Patients with conditions such as painful restriction of the right shoulder, frozen shoulder presented with painful limitation of right shoulder joint abduction are commonly given doses of trigger point injections. A recent case study showed that these issues were easily addressed by trigger point injections. The patients show a significant improvement in the movements of their shoulders within just a few sessions of trigger point injections, showing that these injections guarantee a significant relief of pain for patients, also improving their functional outcome.
Osteoarthritis is a common ailment affecting 6% of all people older than 30 years of age, increasing to approximately 10% at 65 years of age, with further increases thereafter. Meanwhile, knee pain is one of the major sources of pain and disability in developed countries, particularly in aging populations, and is the primary indication for total knee arthroplasty in patients with Osteoarthritis (Henry, 2012). These knee ailments commonly affect the joints, ligaments, tendons, bones, and the musculoskeletal system. Lessening the chance of developing total knee arthroplasty and Osteoarthritis may be easily done through early prevention and cure. In a 2016 study, patients experiencing knee pain were observed for subsequent weeks and were given trigger point injections. It was found that these patients had myofascial trigger points, and also found the injections effective. The study proves that these injections have significantly reduced pain intensity and pain interference, and improved mobility for patients.
TrP Injections: What else you need to know
● Many times knots under the skin are felt, and trigger points irritate the nerves around them.
● The injection contains a local anesthetic or saline and may include a corticosteroid.
● By targeting specific points of myofascial pain, clinicians can directly treat pathologic tissue, address a patient's pain generator, and break the pain cycle.
● Little to no side effects are expected from trigger point injections.