Injections are administered with the desired outcome to improve an individual’s function and reach a more tolerable level of pain or ultimately, eliminate the pain. Someone presenting for injections is already in pain, so ideally, I like to reiterate the fact that the injections can’t hurt any more than the pain the individual is already experiencing. When a patient presents with dysfunction and mobility concerns impeding everyday activities of daily living, our goal at Advanced Care Specialists is to help him or her reach their desired goals and get them back to performing daily activities with more ease, as well as personal hobbies or other desired activities.
Therefore, as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain,” this leads me to discuss some of the injections included in treatment plans. Hyperirritability, or high tense muscle areas, better known as muscle knots, are areas of the muscle that are irritated, tight, and impeding smooth, optimal movement of that muscle and other muscular and bony structures surrounding that area. These are considered trigger points. This can occur from injury, a particular physical movement, sports, repetitive movement, trauma, poor posture, etc., just to name a few. Fortunately, in conjunction with other therapies, trigger point injections can target these areas directly to provide relief.
Trigger point injections can be a great adjunct therapy to include when optimizing an individual’s pain and level of functioning. This procedure includes needling work and dispersing of an analgesic (pain relief substance), such as lidocaine or bupivacaine, which acts to break up the area of high tension as well as providing some immediate relief in discomfort.
Needle size is chosen and based on the area of the body being injected, as well as taking into consideration the substance being injected. With the needling work performed, the needle size for trigger points is fortunately a smaller, more pliable needle head. Despite the discomfort upon the initial breaking of the skin with an injection, the pain, if any, essentially comes and goes very quickly.
Anxiety, nerves, and built-up tension can also play a role in determining if “injections hurt.” The fear of receiving the injection or anticipation of the injection is most often times worse than the actual injection itself. Not to mention, when an individual is tensed up, it tends to impede optimal administration from the individual injecting. Whether it’s clenching the area to be injected, moving or shifting of the body prior to or upon needle insertion; all activities can exacerbate pain that may not even be there or worsen it than what it could be.
At ACS, our goal is to reduce pain and optimize function. We continually modify our approach in order to ensure the highest quality of care is provided with all services, therapies, and treatments we have to offer.