Trigger Point Therapy For Back Pain
We live in the age of computers, laptops, cell phones, iPads and tablets. Who doesn’t use any of these devices on a given day? A better question is how many hours a day does a single individual spend on one of the above devices?
90% of us will answer “a lot of hours” to the above question!
Out of the above 90%, it is guaranteed that 100% of them will have neck pain, upper back pain, or lower back pain which can be linked to the posture that is held during the use of these devices.
Questions to answer before you continue reading:
- Do I have neck pain/stiffness?
- Do I have migraines?
- Do I have recurrent headaches?
- Do I have upper back pain/stiffness?
- Do I have lower back pain/stiffness?
- Do I have a lot of mental stress?
- Do I have a lot of physical stress?
- My on the computer/laptop/tablet/cellphone for more than 25% of my day?
- Have I been to chiropractors or massage therapists and unable to resolve my muscle tension or stiffness?
- Do I always have the heavy load on my shoulders?
Trigger Point Injections in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Bakersfield
Most people that answer yes to the above questions do not even think about seeking help from a physician to help them with the above issues. Rather they seek help from either massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, or resort to over-the-counter devices such as heat pads, oils and creams, or anti-inflammatories to minimize or mask their issue.
Why should anyone see a physician for the above issues?
An osteopathic physician can address your musculoskeletal pain such as neck pain, head pain, upper back or lower back pain, or any limb pain with a combination of manual/physical therapies along with the magical power of trigger point injections.
What are trigger points?
Trigger points are simply put in layman’s term: “tension balls” within our body. Such tension balls are a result of either mental or physical stress that accumulates in your musculoskeletal system, specifically in your muscles or fascia which is the layer that covers your muscles.
Trigger points are easily identified by a simple manual examination. When the physician identifies certain points, a slight pressure on these points would cause pain either locally or even radiating pain to other parts of your body.
Why can’t I treat trigger points without injections?
The most optimal method in treating trigger points and alleviating them are with use of trigger point injections. The solution that is injected differs from physician to physician based on their extent of their training and experience in the field. Most physicians use simple solutions that have no systemic effects on the body. The solution is injected directly into the “tension ball” felt by your physician. This allows a neuro-somatic block which allows the intense “tension ball” to relax therefore being receptive to the manual therapy that follows by the physician. Manual therapy and pressure on this trigger points will allow it to relax fully and disperse of its accumulated “tension” or “energy”.
Other practitioners such as massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors can effectively apply the latter pressure and manual therapy on trigger points. However, the patient will be intolerant of the pain induced by this manual therapy if there is no trigger point injection done in advance.
In summary, and in the words of Dr. Kerendian “when you have physical and mental stress, you tense your jaws, grind your teeth, and raise your shoulders unknowingly. This adds additional physical stress to your neck and shoulder area and you form tension balls in your muscle or fascia. Your body notices this tension area and sends an SOS signal to your spinal cord saying “I have pain here what should I do?”. In the absence of your consciousness, your spinal cord sends a signal back to that muscle saying protect the area and contract. The more that muscle contracts to protect the stronger signal is sent back to the spinal cord saying “I have more pain what should I do?”. Then your spinal cord sends another signal back saying “protect that area and contract” ……. As you can see this becomes a vicious circle– outside of your consciousness– which results in chronic pain. “
The reason that the use of trigger point injection therapy is superior to any manual therapy is because the ingredients in this trigger point injection solution include an anesthetic such as lidocaine which blocks the above vicious circle which is medically known as the neuro-somatic signal to pain.
How long will it take for me to notice any difference?
The effects of trigger point injections are immediate. The actual injection starts working within minutes.
Is this a painful procedure?
A very small and thin needle is used. Therefore, based on the expertise and the finesse
of the physician, this process which takes less than 10 minutes can be extremely PAINLESS. In fact, some patients may not even be aware of the needle.
How long will the results last?
The answer to this question depends on the actual underlying cause of the pain or tension. Typically, a patient walks out of the office free of tension or pain in the treated area. This tension free period may last one week, two weeks, or for months.