What you think of as muscle pain may not, in fact, originate with your muscles but with the fascia. These layers of thin, white tissue surround all groups of muscle tissue, including muscle fibers, individual muscles, and muscle groups.
Fascia holds muscles together, but it also aids movement, because it’s normally a slippery surface, allowing muscles to slide across each other with little natural friction. Myofascial pain often stems from adhesions, knots of scar tissue that form because of injury, repetitive motion, and underuse.
Injection therapies are common for treating myofascial pain syndrome, so check in with the injections specialists at Southern Westchester Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Yonkers, the Bronx, and Mamaroneck, New York. We can diagnose and treat your myofascial pain.
Is it myofascial pain?
Pain stemming from adhesions in fascia tissue has similarities with other conditions, including fibromyalgia. While both feature pain-emitting trigger points, myofascial pain is localized while fibromyalgia is usually widespread. Fibromyalgia is thought to be a neurological disorder, and while some researchers suspect that there may be a relationship between the two conditions, that’s not yet established conclusively.
Nor is myofascial pain syndrome an autoimmune disorder. Though there is inflammation of tissue at the root of the problem, it’s not due to your immune system attacking healthy tissue. Common causes of myofascial pain include:
- Strain from repeated use of a muscle or muscle group
- Trauma to the muscle
- Muscle inactivity, as in a sedentary lifestyle
- Posture problems
- Pinched nerves
- Muscle tension arising from stress
- Chronic infections
- Certain vitamin deficiencies
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Thyroid disease
It’s not fully understood how myofascial pain syndrome works, and the condition is often misdiagnosed or overlooked.
5 reasons to consider injections for myofascial pain syndrome
Trigger point injections are an effective treatment for myofascial pain. The name describes the process. Your doctor inserts a small needle into a trigger point. The most basic form is called dry needling, used when patients can’t tolerate corticosteroids or have allergies to anesthetics.
Saline solution is also used, as are anesthetics and corticosteroids. A course of several injections often produces lasting pain relief, and you can receive treatment for several trigger points in a single appointment.
Trigger point injections offer these benefits:
There’s no preparation, and we perform the injections in a medical office setting. A typical appointment takes about 15 minutes, and you can return to your regular day afterward, though you should avoid overuse of the treated muscle groups.
Trigger point injections are very safe, with only a small risk of bleeding or infection — about the same as an allergy shot or blood test.
No opioid medications
Well-tolerated anesthetics and corticosteroids are the only medications used, if we use any at all. It’s a conservative pain relief treatment that not only avoids the use of opioids, but also may reduce your need for stronger medications.
You’ll feel results 24-72 hours after treatment in most cases. Pain relief generally lasts about a month.
With repeated treatments, you may see that your pain relief lasts longer. After an initial course of treatment with several injections in the first two weeks, you’ll likely move to a bi-monthly schedule.
Call or click to schedule an appointment with the nearest Southern Westchester Orthopedics & Sports Medicine office to find out more about injections for myofascial pain syndrome. It’s a simple solution for a sometimes complex health problem.