Trigger Point Injections and Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Trigger point injections are used to treat people with myofascial pain syndrome (MPS).
Normally when muscles are used they contract and then relax. It is different for a person suffering from Myofascial Pain Syndrome. The muscle still contract but it never relaxes and it is left in a knot or tight ropy state.
Myofascial pain consists of headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, lower back pain, pelvic pain, and arm and leg pain, or any combination of the above.
Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome Are:
- Inability to sleep at night due to the pain
- Knots of muscle that can be felt under the skin and are sensitive to the touch
- Muscle stiffness
- Pain that will not go away or gets worse
- Deep aching pain that is located in your muscles
Selective Nerve Root Block Injections
A selective nerve root block is a type of injection used when back pain is being caused by the nerve roots.
A nerve root bock injection usually consists of a combination of a local anesthetic-either alone or with a steroid (most often cortisone)-that is injected into your spine to help relieve nerve root or back pain. The anesthetic would help to numb the nerve immediately and the steroid would help to reduce inflammation to help reduce pain over the next few weeks or months.
The injections can also be used to diagnose back pain problems when other tests are unable to find the correct cause. If after the injection your pain subsides it is most likely that the nerve that has been blocked is the cause of your pain. If your pain remains unchanged it is unlikely that the nerve is the reason for your troubles.
Facet Joint Injection
A facet joint injection is a minimally invasive procedure that can help to relieve pain that is caused by inflamed facet joints in your back and neck. It works by reducing the overall inflammation that is occurring at the joint thus reducing pain.
If used diagnostically, a facet joint injection can help to accurately identify problems that are caused by the facet joints. If pain is relieved after an injection it indicates that the facet joint is in-fact the source of the pain.
Facet join injections are only useful in the short term and are not helpful with chronic problems. It is also not a cure for any of the conditions below, it just helps to reduce symptoms. Only half of people that undergo these injects obtain any relief from pain and because these injections are not permanent (they can take weeks to kick in and may only last a few weeks to a year) you may have to have this procedure repeated.
Epidural Corticosteroid Injections
What Can Epidural Corticosteroid Injections Treat?
Epidural corticosteroid injections are used to treat people who have spinal nerve root irritation which can be caused by any of the following conditions.
- Spinal Stenosis. This is a narrowing of the spinal canal which can be caused by aging or some other condition such as a disc herniation, tumor or osteoporosis
- Herniated Disc. This is caused when your disc ruptures or tears and the gel like center pushes into the spinal canal
- Sciatica. This is a term used to describe leg pain that radiates from your back into your buttocks and down into your legs
- Degenerative disc disease. As we age the vertebrae, facet joints, and discs of our spine start to break down from wear and tear. This is mostly seen in those over the age of 50
- Facet Arthritis. This is the degeneration of the cartilage in your joints
Back Pain Injections
There are many different types of back pain injections that can be used to treat persistent back pain and they have been shown to be very effective in treating people whose condition is not improving with medication or physical therapy.
While many times back injections are used to treat pain they can also be used to diagnose the cause of pain by locating the specific nerve that is causing problems. Once injected if the patient feels relief from pain that area is assumed to be the source of their back pain.