What is Myofascial Pain and How Can Trigger Point Injections Help Relieve It?

What is Myofascial Pain and How Can Trigger Point Injections Help Relieve It?

Myofascial pain arises from a common problem: painful muscle knots. But myofascial pain is more complex because it involves the fascia, tissues that surround muscles and enable normal muscle activity. Here, we explain this common condition.

If you ever experienced a painful muscle knot, you can imagine the agony of myofascial pain syndrome, a condition caused by unrelenting knots in your muscles and fascia.

At least 85% of people will experience myofascial pain syndrome in their lifetime. But that doesn’t mean you need to put up with the pain. The team at Alliance Spine Associates can ease your symptoms and relax the knot with a trigger point injection.

Myofascial pain is more complex than a muscle knot because it also involves the fascia. Here, we explain about the fascia, myofascial pain, and how trigger point injections relieve your pain.

Fascia explained

The fascia is a sheet of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every structure inside your body. Yes, that means every structure, including all your organs, bones, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, and tendons.

As it wraps throughout your body, the fascia creates a three-dimensional structure that stabilizes and strengthens and supports these internal structures.

However, this essential layer is more than a passive tissue. The fascia is highly sensitive because it contains nerves. It also:

  • Stretches when you move
  • Holds muscles together, supporting their ability to function
  • Allows muscles, joints, and organs to move without friction
  • Improves joint movement
  • Eases muscle tension
  • Supports circulation

Injuries and inflammation can cause scar tissue to form in the fascia. This scarring makes the fascia stick to structures, limiting movement and causing pain.

Though it looks like a single layer of tissue, the fascia consists of several layers with a lubricating liquid between the layers. Inflammation and injuries also affect the fluid. As a result, it can get thick and sticky or dry up.

Changes in the fluid make the fascia tighten around your muscles. When that happens, it limits muscle movement and leads to painful knots called trigger points.

About myofascial pain

Myofascial pain refers to chronic pain caused by trigger points in your muscles and fascia. Trigger points occur when a small group of fibers spasm and create a hard nodule (knot), a problem that most often begins in the fascia.

Trigger points are painful and sensitive, especially when touched or placed under pressure when you move. However, the pain can also appear spontaneously.

These painful knots have a defining characteristic: Pushing on a trigger point causes pain in other body areas that seem unrelated to the knot. Trigger points also cause stiffness and limit movement.

How trigger point injections help

Trigger point injections can give you rapid relief from painful muscle knots. The injection contains a local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroids. After we place the medication directly into the trigger point, the anesthetic gives you quick pain relief and the tissues start to relax.

Knotted tissues pinch nerves, limit blood circulation, and allow muscle wastes to build up. As the knot relaxes, circulation returns, removing wastes and delivering healing oxygen and nutrients. Additionally, the nerves decompress, the knot disappears, and the muscles are free to work properly.

You don’t need to put up with ongoing myofascial pain when a trigger point injection can treat the problem. If you need pain relief, call Alliance Spine Associates or book an appointment online today.