A pain in your neck can be a strain on your days. Many of the aches and pains in your body are due to muscle tightness and irritated nerves. This pain is referred to as Myofascial Pain Syndrome. It often happens after a repeated injury, poor posture, or overuse of the muscles. This issue is a top 10 diagnosis most often used by medical providers and is frequently not treated or is mistreated. This pain can usually be successfully treated without the use of medications. Such treatments include trigger point therapy, myotherapy/physical therapy, stretching, massage.
Thankfully for our community, Jamie Armijo, FNP-C, is trained in a procedure called trigger point injection that can reduce that pain instantly in some cases and you can receive it at Union County General Hospital. Jamie has completed advanced hands-on training in trigger point injection therapy through the University of New Mexico Myofascial Institute.
So, what is trigger point injection therapy? In short, it consists of manual therapy to identify the trigger points, and then needles are inserted into the offending muscles where lidocaine is injected. After the procedure is complete, time is spent massaging, stretching, and educating the patient about home techniques often used to continue to treat the specific areas. The patient is then brought back in 4-6 weeks to reevaluate.
Trigger point therapy requires excellent knowledge of anatomy and proper training. No steroids are used. It is a good way to treat pain without the use of narcotics or medications. The trigger point injection often induces a local twitch response (contraction and release) which is often what leads to a positive therapeutic outcome. The lidocaine helps by breaking the pain cycle, even temporarily, allowing more movement of the muscle.
As far as how often or how many sessions will be needed for your particular concern will vary from case to case depending on the issue and whether it is acute or chronic. It is similar to chiropractic care and acupuncture in that way; It could take one session or several monthly sessions, but this therapy will typically ease your discomfort. However, patients will likely be sore in the areas treated for 1-2 days. You can take medications like Tylenol, NSAIDs, use heat or ice to help relieve this.
One person in our community who has experienced this therapy shared, “I have had pain for years and this is the first time I have had relief like this.”
If you would like to set up an appointment to learn more about trigger point therapy and be evaluated for the procedure, please call Union County Health Center at 575-374-CARE (2273). You may also be referred for the injections by your primary care provider.