Myofascial Pain Injection
Myofascial pain injections are used to treat common pain conditions such as myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain injections target the tendon/muscular areas of the painful area and/or the aﬀected joints to stop muscle spasms, inflammation and improve healing. The aﬀected muscles get profound pain relief as a result.
Who will benefit from Myofascial Pain Injections?
Patients with deep pain at localized areas of muscles, or pain at the neck, shoulder, back, knee and other joint pain and patients with tension headache can get relief from Myofascial injection.
How is Myofascial Pain Injections performed?
Myofascial injections are are minimally invasive procedures. They can alleviate muscle pain caused by trigger points, which are painful “knots” in the muscle. They also target at the painful injured areas. Depending on the mechanism of pain, the injection can be administered at the local point (painful areas) or referred points (related pain but further away).
The injectate used includes local anaesthetic, saline and/or corticosteroid, which are are effective in stopping muscle spasm and inflammation and reducing pain, thus enabling patients to engage early in rehabilitation and therapy.
What to expect during the treatment?
A small needle is inserted into the patient’s tender trigger point to deliver the medication. With the injection, the tender active trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Often, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief.
Injections can be given in a doctor’s clinic at the bedside and it usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit. Occasionally, this simple procedure may be performed in the day-surgical centre under sedation, depending on type of injectate as well as patient’s tolerance to injection.
How safe are Myofascial Pain Injections?
Myofascial Pain injections are very safe. The risk of complication from a Myofascial injection is very low. Complications such as bleeding and infection at the injection site are not common.
Are there any side effects?
Patients may experience temporary soreness or numbness at the injection site but it should resolves by itself after a few days.
Side effects from the injectate medications (though uncommon) include:
- Light- headedness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ringing of ears
- Tingling of lips
- Shortness of breath
At times, cortisone (a weak steroid) may be added to the injectate to enhance healing or recovery. These weak steroids are generally safe without complications. However, if given in high doses or repeatedly without monitoring, they can pose some possible side effects: tendon injury/rupture, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.
Do the injections need to be repeated?
Usually, a trigger point resolves after one injection and the injections do not need to be given repeatedly. This may happen when a patient has uncomplicated and isolated trigger point, and especially if the cause of the trigger point has been removed (such as a trigger point caused by a repetitive minor trauma or movement that will no longer be performed).
Only if the underlying cause is due to a chronic condition or ongoing degeneration, these injections may be repeatedly at regular intervals every 1 – 2 yearly.