Do you suffer from chronic pain in your muscles or connective tissues? If you do not suffer from arthritis or another rheumatic disorder, your doctor might diagnose you with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can be a rather frustrating illness to treat since it is chronic and certain triggers, like poor sleep or hormonal changes, can cause a flare in your symptoms.
Read on to see what injection therapy options are available to help with your condition.
What Types of Injection Therapies Could Help Your Symptoms?
You can consider different types of injection therapies based on your symptoms or how you respond to medications. Two types of injection therapies that could help your fibromyalgia symptoms include trigger-point injections, and lidocaine injections.
Although fibromyalgia can cause pain throughout the body, a lot of patients experience tender points at the following locations:
- The inner knee
- The upper-outer quadrant of the gluteal muscle
- The upper chest beneath the collarbone
- The base of the skull
- The lower neck muscles
- The upper trapezius muscles
- The shoulder blades
- The outside of the elbow
- The outside of the hip
Tender points should not be confused with trigger points. Trigger points are taut bands of skeletal muscle that can cause pain in another area of the body when pressed. Tender points cause pain in the area and only need a light amount of pressure to be sore.
Trigger points cause inflammation and spasms in skeletal muscles — especially in the upper back and shoulder areas. If your fibromyalgia causes neck pain, shoulder pain, or headaches outside of tender points, then trigger-point injections might be a good option.
Because fibromyalgia causes fatigue, this can lead to a very sedentary lifestyle. Poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle can cause muscle imbalances, which, in turn, can develop into trigger points. If you do not have great energy levels, you may have tight, shortened muscles that could benefit from trigger-point injections.
While every health practice is different, a doctor typically administers trigger point injections after the doctor palpates and marks the site of the tight muscle. If the trigger-point is deeper in the muscle, then your doctor may use an ultrasound to locate it. The doctor will clean your skin with rubbing alcohol and spray the skin with a numbing spray.
Your doctor will inject a corticosteroid directly to the trigger point, which should then relax. Your doctor will then bandage the site. The muscle may be a little sore, but a combination of the over-the-counter medications and ice and heat packs should relieve the pain.
One benefit of a trigger-point injection is that it is a low-risk treatment. While some pain may be at the injection site, this is not very common.
Lidocaine injections are often used in conjunction with corticosteroids or on their own. If you have an extreme sensitivity to pressure or pain, then lidocaine injections could help — especially if pain clusters are in the muscles of the buttocks or shoulders.
One study found that lidocaine injections were able to significantly reduce pain in participants compared to placebo saline injections. Lidocaine injections could be beneficial for patients who have not found effective relief from over-the-counter medications or even prescription pain relievers.
Weigh all the pros and cons of different therapies to see which would work best for your fibromyalgia symptoms. If you are unsure which one is best for you, make sure to speak to qualified medical professionals for help. They will be able to recommend a treatment based on your symptoms and general health condition.
Reach out to us at Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates for more information. We look forward to meeting with you, understanding more about your fibromyalgia, and putting together a treatment plan that works for you and your needs. And whether you have questions or concerns, we are always happy to answer them. Please schedule your appointment today so that you can find relief for your fibromyalgia and its symptoms. Our team is ready to assist.