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Trigger Point Injections: Understanding Their Use in Sports Medicine

Athletes, both amateur and professional, are no strangers to injuries, whether from accidents, overworking muscles, or even genetic predispositions. Trigger point injections are one form of treatment that can be highly beneficial for athletes. This type of treatment is used primarily for muscle pain, but it is especially useful for athletes who have sustained injuries or need a quick and easy solution to help manage their musculoskeletal problems. Explore trigger point injections, how they work, and how they can help sports medicine practitioners and athletes alike.

What Are Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections are a form of pain management that involves the injection of a local anesthetic and/or corticosteroid into "trigger points" in the body. Trigger points are areas of heightened sensitivity and tenderness in the muscles that occur at the site of an injury. In sports medicine, this type of treatment can be used for a wide range of musculoskeletal issues, including tendinitis, muscle strains, sprains, and other injuries.

How Do They Work?

Trigger point injections work by breaking up the tension and spasms that occur in the muscles as a result of the body's natural defense mechanisms when there is an injury. The local anesthetic blocks the signals from the nerves, which temporarily relieves muscle tension and pain. The corticosteroid, on the other hand, helps to reduce inflammation, which is often a cause of pain and discomfort in the muscles.

Who Can Benefit From Trigger Point Injections?

Almost anyone who has experienced muscle tension or chronic pain due to an injury can benefit from trigger point injections. They are particularly useful for athletes who experience overuse or accidental injuries. Because these injections are a minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatment, they can be used to treat a wide range of conditions and are generally considered safe and effective when administered by a trained professional.

What to Expect During the Procedure?

As mentioned, trigger point injections are minimally invasive procedures that are performed in the office or at a sports medicine clinic. During the procedure, a fine needle is inserted into the trigger point area of the muscle. The injection site may be numbed with a topical anesthetic, and the entire procedure usually takes about a quarter of an hour. After the injection, the patient may experience some soreness or mild bruising, but this should generally resolve itself within a few days.

For more information about trigger point injections, reach out to a local clinic.