When I was attending the pain clinic, I spoke to the pain specialist doctor who recommended trigger point injections to help ease pain in specific areas. If you have not heard of trigger point injections – the injections often contain lidocaine and corticosteroids. The lidocaine helps block pain receptors in the muscles and the steroids helps reduce inflammation in the muscle and connective tissues surrounding the nerves. The injection is inserted into a muscle knot found in the trigger point injection sites. A muscle knot is tense muscle fibers – which prevents the muscle from relaxing. The knots cause the affected muscles to remain tense even when the muscle is at rest. The following picture shows several trigger point injection sites.
While I was attending the pain clinic a nurse practitioner had evaluated me to see if I qualified for trigger point injections. A quick physical exam on my upper back revealed several knots in my neck and upper back had formed. Fibromyalgia pain seems to attack these knotted muscles twice as hard ( in my case). The pain in these areas are always steady and worse when I am in a flare.
Trigger point injections are supposed to be a safe treatment option ( pain relief) for those with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia causes tense muscles and knots can form. The injections can help relax the muscles and allow your muscles to work properly. The relaxed muscles decreases tension thus reducing nerve pain. The trigger point injections may be more painful because fibromyalgia can make you extra sensitive to pain. I was always encouraged to try trigger point injections, but due to the fact it contains corticosteroids – I was unable to even consider it after researching the procedure further. I do know several people who do get the injections done for fibromyalgia pain. What they have all stated is the injection does relieve pain but does not last long enough before they can get another round.
I decided to opt out of trigger point injections for several reasons. One of my main reasons was due to the fact that the pain specialist doctor could not seem to provide me any information about the trigger point injection procedure. When I asked how the injection provided relief, I got told ” We don’t actually know! It just does.” The doctor did not even want to provide me with information of what was in the injection itself. These are need to know information before I allow any procedure to be done. I was also not given any time to think about it or have my questions clarified. The doctor wanted to just begin injections five minutes into what I thought was just a consultation appointment.
I am glad I choose to decline the trigger point injections. I later found out the injection contains lidocaine and a corticosteroid. My body is sensitive to many corticosteroids – leaving me feeling like I have bugs crawling under my skin. Corticosteroids have been marked on my medical file for years – not to be administered to me due to possible allergy/sensitivity. I am someone who can’t even use prednisone. I was shocked that this doctor did not review my file to be sure it was safe to administer trigger point injections before hand.
When I researched trigger point injections I also found many sites that state these injections can have a possible side effect of damaging the muscles and nerves. However, I do not know the prevalence of possible damage caused by these injections. If you consider using this treatment route – I would speak to your doctor about this concern. The muscle damage is called myonecrosis – which appears to be treatable.
Read more information about trigger point injections at the following websites: