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Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger Point Injections (TPI)

Every muscle in the body has a specific purpose and function. When certain muscle groups are not functioning appropriately, other muscle groups try to compensate and end up hurting themselves in the process.

Trigger Points (TP) are the result of “muscles of motion” doing the work for “muscles of posture”. Trigger Point Injections (TPI) are used to break up adhesions- an abnormal muscular response due to inflammation and/or trauma- and chronically contracted muscles.

When TPs are not addressed, muscle memory can kick in causing recurrent contraction of the muscle which can prevent other various treatments (chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, etc.) from being optimally beneficial.

A TP is commonly referred to as a ‘knot’, or a tight ropy band of muscle that forms when a muscle fails to relax. The knot can often be felt underneath the skin and may twitch involuntarily when touched (called a jump sign). The TP can trap, or irritate, surrounding nerves and sometimes can cause referred pain- or pain felt in another area of the body. Scar tissue, loss of range of motion and weakness may develop over time related to TPs.

By doing TPI therapy, the adhesions- or knots- can be broken up resulting in immediate relief of pain, in addition to immediate improvement in function.

When used in conjunction with other therapies, such as chiropractic therapy and physical therapy, it helps to achieve optimal goals of pain relief, increased range of motion, and overall function.

What causes Trigger Points?

Trigger points can become problematic for a number of reasons. Patients may develop trigger points because of injury to muscle tissue. Examples of muscular injury include whiplash, overuse of a muscle group, or a post viral syndrome. Trigger points may also occur because of an underlying structural problem. Spinal abnormalities such as herniated and degenerative discs, scoliosis, postural problems, and osteoarthritis are examples of conditions commonly associated with trigger points.

How can one detect a Trigger Point?

Trigger points are diagnosed by physical examination. The examiner palpates muscles for tender areas over taut bands and knots. X-rays, biopsies, and laboratory tests are of no use in detecting trigger points, but may be helpful in revealing an underlying condition.

What happens during the procedure?

In the TPI procedure, our provider inserts a small needle into the patients trigger point. The injection contains a combination of local anesthetics. With the injection, the trigger point is broken up; which can alleviate pain, but most importantly improves the body’s function. Injections usually take just a few minutes, and several sites may be injected in one visit. If a patient has an allergy to a certain medication, a dry-needle technique (involving no medications) can be used.

When is Trigger Point Injection used?

TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, neck, upper back, mid-back, and lower back. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches. TPI also is used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.

What happens after Trigger Point Injections?

You may experience soreness, bruising or tenderness at injection site. This is normal and should dissipate over the next 24-48 hours. Stretching can be beneficial in relieving the tightness of muscles and is recommended in preventing further contraction of muscles.

Are there any side effects associated with Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections are minimally invasive. Patients may feel some injection site tenderness following the injection as the local anesthetic wears off. Patients will sometimes feel a little dizzy for up to an hour if multiple trigger points are injected with a large dose of local anesthetic. DO TRIGGER POINTS HURT? You can expect to feel the injection of the needle as a poking sensation followed by a warm sensation as the anesthetic is injected.

How long do the effects of Trigger Point Injections last?

A definitive answer is not possible because it depends on the nature of the patient’s condition. The local anesthetic will numb the area for approximately 1 to 3 hours. The major benefit of trigger point injections is to allow the patient to more effectively participate in a rehabilitative program. Trigger point injections loosen muscle groups thereby improving patient progress in chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and joint mobilization.

Are Trigger Point Injections covered by Insurance?

Most major insurance companies cover TPIs, but individual copays may vary.

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  • "I’ve been dealing with severe pain in my lower lumbar lately, and have tried everything from massage, to acupuncture, to chiropractic. It helped a little, but I was still in pain, so I decided to try something completely new...Trigger point injection (TPI) is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or hardened knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. My friend Cat Turner is a Nurse Practitioner that performs this therapy, and I HIGHLY recommend her! Thank God she has a steady hand"
    Rachel D
  • "Jesse is very knowledgeable and does amazing work. I would recommend him to anyone I know."
    Shaun D
  • "Always feel welcome there – the doctor takes his time and listens to my issues."
    Leigh T
  • "My back feels better than it has in a long time!"
    Jamie H
  • "It is easy to make appointments with Dr. Weigel, and he honors his schedules. He listens well and has just the right touch to make me feel better. Thanks for your cheerful and positive attitude!"
    Judy G
  • "Dr. Weigel was very thorough in his initial examination and assessment to determine the cause of my low back pain. The treatments I received at his office were very helpful in relieving the pain. In addition, Dr. Weigel was willing to discuss things I wanted to try at home. He also offered suggestions for at-home exercises. It has been a very good experience to be treated by Dr. Weigel!"
    Sylvia H
  • "Dr. Weigel is wonderful and has really helped me manage my neck and back pains. I would recommend him to anyone needing a good chiropractor!"
    Tammy A
  • "I love how accommodating the staff is there! I always leave the office feeling 100% better!"
    Christy M
  • "Awesome crew! Everyone is extremely accommodating. They know how to make appointments FUN!"
    Merrie C
  • "My experience at Dynamic Care Chiropractic has always been wonderful. Dr. Weigel is very attentive and takes the time needed to ensure I walk out feeling better than when I walked in. The staff is extremely friendly and always helpful. I feel comfortable and well taken care of every time I go there."
    Lynn B
  • "I would highly recommend Dr. Weigel to anyone! He and his staff have always been friendly, professional, and honest. I went in with lower back pain and headaches that I had been suffering with for years – now, I am almost pain free and rarely get headaches! Thank You Dr. Weigel! You are awesome!"
    Christy B
  • "Dr. Weigel runs an excellent practice. He uses his extensive knowledge to treat patients. In other words, one doesn't get the same adjustment everytime. It depends on what a person's body needs. And he wants his patients to get well and isn't a quake who is just trying to make money."
    Cheryl D
  • "Staff is great! I always come out feeling 100% better!"
    Mary B
  • "Chiropractic care is part of my pain management treatment. Dr Wiegel adjusts his technique to meet my ever changing and specific needs. I'm able to walk-in when in need of extra help. The doctor/patient relationship is very personal. I'm very comfortable with Dr Wiegel, and he has my trust. The staff who check patients in/out, are also awesome. The doctor, staff, and patients visit – we talk about weekend plans, share pictures/stories of pets, kids, weddings, etc. – life in general. Going to Dynamic Care is like visiting old friends."
    Donna E
  • "This is probably the best care I've ever received. I came in and could barely move after years of bodily abuse through sports and lifting. Currently, I'm completely pain free, and I couldn't be happier! I recommend everyone go and check this place out. You won't regret it."
    Patrick G