Joint and trigger point injections are treatments that may be used for managing pain. When patients are experiencing pain in the muscles or joints and other pain relievers are not effective, these injections may be a treatment method used by Dr. Ward to provide relief and healing.
TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS
Trigger point injections are medical procedures used to specifically treat painful areas of muscle that have “trigger points.” Trigger points are knots of muscle that develop when the muscles do not relax. Patients can often feel the trigger points underneath the skin and are commonly found in the neck, rear of the head, shoulders and back but may be found in about any muscle group. Common conditions treated with trigger point injections include:
- Muscle Spasms
- Tension Headaches
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
The trigger point injection procedure itself only takes a few minutes and can be administered at our office. The procedure is performed as Dr. Ward inserts a small needle directly into the patient’s trigger point. The injection will include an anesthetic and may also include a corticosteroid that will work to relax the knotted muscle and alleviate the pain. Many patients will feel immediate relief but some may not feel relief for a few days. Multiple treatments may be necessary to alleviate pain.
Injections into various joints of the body are also administered by Dr. Ward and are used to reduce inflammation and pain. Common injection treatments are helpful in the following joints:
- Facet Joints
- Sacroiliac Joint
- Knee Joint
- Finger and Toe Joints
Facet Joint Injections
Facet joints are the joints of the spine that enable the spine to twist, bend and otherwise provide flexibility. When facet joints become inflamed, stiffness and pain result. In these situations a facet joint injection may be used relieve pain. The injections include a dose of steroid medication that is infused into the effected spinal facet joint.
Sacroiliac Joint Injections
The sacroiliac joint is located between the sacrum and the ilium in the pelvis. The sacrum, also known as the “tailbone,” supports the spine and can become inflamed causing lower back and leg pain. Inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, termed sacroilitis, or other sacroiliac dysfunctions may be treated by sacroiliac joint injections. Sacroiliac injections include a local anesthetic and a long acting steroid that relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
Knee Joint Injections
When a patient is experiencing severe knee pain and oral medications are not effective, Dr. Ward may consider a knee joint injection. Corticosteroid medication is injected into the knee joint during this procedure and the treatment can provide quick pain relief and the reduction of inflammation. Some patients experience long lasting relief while others are short lived. Knee injections do have risks, like the breakdown of cartilage, so the number of knee injections will be limited. These injections are a common treatment for patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
Finger and Toe joint Injections
The fingers and toes of patients that suffer from osteoarthritis commonly become inflamed contributing to agonizing pain. Finger and toe joint injections are a treatment for osteoarthritis pain in the fingers and/or toe joints. The injection of corticosteroid medication provides relief from the pain caused by osteoarthritis in the fingers and toes.
The injections may also dramatically increase the quality of life for patients who have difficulty gripping or otherwise using their fingers to do the simplest household tasks, like opening a jar of jelly. After the treatment, many patients are able to return to activities they enjoy.
In all of the situations listed above, Dr. Ward will consider all possible treatments to reduce pain, inflammation and other symptom including oral medications, joint fluid aspiration (the removal of joint fluid) and other modalities. Call for an appointment if you are experiencing muscle or joint pain.