Trigger Point Stimulation & Injections
Trigger points are sensitive points in your muscles fibers which can become irritated and tense due to stress or overuse. This can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty sleeping, and commonly causes referred pain to other parts of the body. At our Denver office we offer two ways to treat the irritated area. One is through trigger point injections and another is through trigger point stimulation.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point Injections provide pain relief by injecting the trigger point directly with saline, an anesthetic, a corticosteroid or a combination of the three to inactivate the trigger point. A typical anesthetic used is lidocaine.
Patients may feel relief immediately or within one to two days and there are minimal side effects. Some patients may notice bruising, stiffness or soreness at the injection site but are able to return to normal activities the same day. The length of relief varies for each individual depending on the level of pain and type of somatic dysfunction, but an injection can last for as long as a few months.
Depending on your treatment plan, your healthcare provider may want to do a series of injections which are done several weeks apart. Our experienced physicians in our Denver office can discuss if trigger point injections are the right course of treatment for you.
Trigger Point Stimulation
Trigger Point Stimulation is a drug free way to provide pain relief through stimulating the trigger point to promote a pain response, in theory resulting in healing. The minute damage done to the tissue will bring blood flow to the area bringing anti-inflammatory cells to the site to promote healing and break the abnormal pain circuit.
The procedure involves inserting a sterile needle directly into the involved myofascial trigger points. A local twitch response occurs during insertion that increases the relaxation of the involved musculature. The patient may feel a sensation in the areas where their pain often radiates. As the patient’s soft tissue becomes more flexible, referred pain from the associated trigger point decreases or is gone completely.
Because the needles do not contain medication there are typically very small and the procedure is relatively pain free. Similar to trigger point injections, pain relief can be seen within one to two day of the treatment and it is very uncommon to have side effects. The most common side effects are drowsiness and dizziness, but is only seen in 1-3% of patients undergoing the treatment.
The length of relief varies from patient to patient, but patients are often schedule multiple treatments to relieve more chronic pain and require a more cumulative effect. It is not uncommon to have multiple treatments scheduled in weekly increments.
Call our Denver offices for Kalo Health today to see if either trigger point injections or trigger point stimulation is the treatment for you.
Common Reasons for Trigger Point Pain:
- Tension Headaches
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Poor Posture
- Traumatic accident or injury
- Overuse injuries
Joint pain in the shoulder, wrist, elbow, knee and hip is common for people suffering from injury, arthritis, and synovitis. By injecting a mixture of lidocaine and corticosteroid to the area, it can provide relief for two to three months and reduce inflammation in the joint. Fluid may be removed from the joint prior to the injection in cases of bursitis or infection.
The procedure usually takes 10-20 minutes and you are generally ready to go home if you have no side effects after a short recovery time. You may want to avoid excessive activity in the joint for the next 2 days and some minor soreness is normal.
Joint injections with a corticosteroid don’t actually fix the underlying problem, but are beneficial when used in conjunction with other treatments such as physical therapy. With the effects lasting several weeks to months, it is usually enough time to reduce the pain in other ways like exercise and increasing flexibility.
It is safe to do joint injections up to 3 times a year at least 3 months apart. Some joints such as hip, spinal facets, and ankle will need to be done under ultrasound guidance by interventional radiologist. If this is the case a referral will be placed.
Call Kalo Health today and schedule to discuss if joint injections can help relieve your pain and help you get moving again.
TMJ injections are used to treat disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is the hinge joint that connects the jawbone to the skull.
TMJ pain can affect more than the joint itself, and often produces pain and immobility in the muscles and ligaments of the face with surround the joint. Disorders can be caused from arthritis, myofascial pain, injury or fracture to the joint, as well as stress that causes jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep.
The procedure typically takes less than 20 minutes. Similar to most injections, the TMJ injection may cause minor soreness for one to two days following and after the local anesthetic wears off you will begin to feel the effects of the injection after a few days.
Call Kalo Health to schedule an appointment and find out if a TMJ injection is an option for you.
Carpal Tunnel Injections
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure is placed on the median nerve in the wrist. In most cases tissues around the flexor tendons swell, narrowing the carpal tunnel and compressing the nerve. This can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.
Corticosteroid Injections to the carpal tunnel are used to reduce the swelling on the tendons and relieve the pressure on the median nerve. Studies have shown that injections are often more effective than oral antiinflammatories for carpal tunnel syndrome and many patients feel relief in just a few days. Many patients see benefits for quite some time, but every case is different and results vary.
Side effects are rare, but the most common one seen in patients is pain to the injection site for 1-2 days following the treatment.
Your provider at Kalo Health will help determine if carpal tunnel injections are right for you, and discuss the procedure. Most patients are happy to learn how quick and easy carpal tunnel injections actually are.
Skin Surveys/Biopsies/Keloid Injections
Skin surveys is a physical examination of the surface skin and are recommended to be done annually. The healthcare provider is looking for any changes in the skin or suspicious skin lesions that may need to be biopsied. It is critical for skin cancer to be caught early on, so skin surveys are often included in preventative care. Everyone is at risk for skin cancer but individuals with high sun exposure, suppressed immune system, moles, and genetic history have an increased risk.
A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor removes a small portion of the skin to have it tested. The tests can help diagnose skin infections and skin cancer. A local anesthetic will be applied before the procedure, and larger biopsies may require suturing or steri-strips to close the incision.
The biopsy can be performed 4 ways:
Shave biopsy: Shaving a thin layer from the top or around a lesion.
Punch biopsy: Using an instrument called a punch to remove a lesion with a clear circular margin around the lesion and section through all skin layers
Excisional biopsy: Using a scalpel to remove the entire lesion. This method is used for smaller lesions.
Incisional biopsy: Using a scalpel to remove a small sample of a large lesion.
Keloid Injections are the use of corticosteroids to reduce size of the keloid scar. Keloids are scars that have an overgrowth of scar tissue causing a thick raised scar. Corticosteroid injections are directly injected into the scarred area to break down the bonds between the collagen fibers and reduce the amount of scar tissue between the skin.
Anesthesia is rarely needed for keloid injections and the procedure takes about 15 minutes. Depending on the size of keloid scars, injections may be recommended every 4-6 week, with a maximum of 5 treatments.