What is a Trigger Point?

The “trigger points” are the areas of the body that, when pressure is applied, will trigger pain in the muscles and in other areas of the body that do not seem related. The condition can come about due to repetitive muscle contractions over time.

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Man recieving trigger point injections in Southlake

What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

This condition has a dramatic impact on quality of life. No tests are available to diagnose myofascial pain syndrome, and it does not involve visible signs such as swelling or redness. The only way to diagnose the condition is a thorough physical examination to identify the precise location of the trigger point. These trigger points are identified by applying pressure to a spot of tenderness to determine the pain level, whether directly at the location or a short distance from it (“referred pain.”)

Types of Trigger Points

Trigger points can appear in four different forms:

Active trigger point

This is a trigger point within a muscle, that when pressure is applied, results in pain locally or at a distance.

Latent trigger point

These trigger points are not currently active.

Secondary trigger point

Another point on the body that becomes irritated when an active trigger point has pressure applied.

Satellite trigger point

These trigger points are inactive as they lie within the region of another trigger point.

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Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

It is normal to occasionally experience muscle pain, but myofascial pain syndrome presents differently, as rather than improving, it gets worse, no matter how long you rest your body, apply ointments, or have the area treated with massage. The symptoms of the condition include:

  • Deep, throbbing pain in the upper back, shoulders, and neck
  • Persistent muscle pain that gets worse with time
  • Trouble sleeping due to extreme, aching pain
  • A tender muscle knot or bump that no treatment seems to resolve
  • Tender, sore muscles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck or shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Stress, anxiety, depression
  • Fatigue

Causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

While the root cause of this chronic pain disorder is not fully known, it is believed that the condition develops over time due to:

  • Injured muscles
  • Repetitive motions
  • Bad posture
  • Working in a cold environment
  • Emotional stress leading to muscle tension
  • Pinched nerves
  • Thyroid disease
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Chronic infections
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Treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome: Our process at The Oasis Medical Aesthetics

The treatment we perform is fast and effective. It involves injecting a cortisol steroid (Decadron) into the active trigger point. Your treatment starts with a single session and is followed up in two to three weeks. If you have derived benefits from the first treatment but it didn’t last, a series of treatments can be performed.

The injections are performed twice a week for two weeks or once a week for four weeks. We may recommend myofascial release (typically done by a physical therapist or a chiropractor) after each trigger point injection.

Managing Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Eve Du, PA-C, PhD is a certified Physician Associate with a background in pain management. Her approach is thorough, careful, and meticulous. If you suffer from myofascial pain syndrome, she can evaluate your condition and perform a series of trigger point injections in Southlake to bring you the relief you deserve.

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