Back pain can be caused from multiple conditions, including problems with your vertebrae, your discs, or your nerves. Or it could just be a good, old-fashioned muscle spasm. When your muscles get tight, they form painful knots of tissue called trigger points, because when you press on them, they trigger pain. While medications might reduce your discomfort temporarily, what you really need is for those inflamed points of pain to relax.
Dr. Stanley Mathew helps many patients throughout the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area find much-needed relief from intense muscle problems, called myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), with trigger point injections. He uses three types of trigger point injections, and each differs in composition and technique.
Corticosteroid trigger point injections
The primary reason your back muscles are causing you such agony is that they’re inflamed. Wherever there’s inflamed tissue, pain always follows. So, rather than momentarily reducing your pain with medication, a corticosteroid goes right to the source and stops the inflammation in your myofascial tissues, the muscles and the sheath that surrounds and covers them.
Dr. Mathew also adds an anesthetic to the injection so you get immediate as well as ongoing relief.
Botox® trigger point injections
Botox Cosmetic is widely known as a way to smooth out the lines and wrinkles of an aging face, but it began as a treatment for fixing crossed eyes. Today, it’s used for many medical conditions, such as lazy eye, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), chronic migraines, overactive bladder, and neck pain. Some studies show that it may also be an effective ingredient in your trigger point injections.
When Dr. Mathew determines that your MPS can best be addressed by reducing the activity in your muscle tissues, he may recommend a Botox trigger point injection. Made from botulinum toxin A — yes, the same toxin that can give you food poisoning — Botox (in a very small, controlled amount, which is FDA-approved) inhibits your muscles’ contractions at the cellular level and interferes with nerve signals, which in turn may stop your pain at its source.
Dry needling trigger point injections
Sometimes, all your muscular trigger points need to get rid of the tension and knots is a poke from an ultra-thin needle. If you’re familiar with acupuncture, this process will seem the same on the surface. Both techniques use needles to relieve pain.
But dry needling seeks to release tension, while acupuncture’s goal is to release endorphins that impact your nervous system. While acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves a spiritual element to it, including the release of healing energy, or chi, dry needling is a modern Western practice that focuses on the physical response to the needle penetrating the tightened muscle or surrounding tissues.
If you have chronic myofascial pain syndrome and haven’t been able to resolve it, give us a call at 319-369-7331 or use our online tool to request a consultation. Trigger point injections just might be the answer you've been looking for.