Most people experience muscle pain after strenuous activities and sports. However, for some of us, the pain persists and can become chronic, resulting in pain trigger points. You can manage pain trigger points with the help of a therapy known as transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI).
TFESI aims to provide pain relief and may also assist in the healing of the chronically tight muscle, or fascia.
What Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic condition that results when sensitive areas of your body become localized pain trigger points, also knowns as muscle knots.
When pressure is applied to these trigger points, referred pain shoots up in another part of the body.
What Causes Trigger Points to Flare Up?
You may experience trigger point flare-ups if:
- you overuse the same set of muscles or engage in repetitive motions
- you experience traumatic muscle injury
- you are subjected to psychological stress.
Examples of such actions over a sustained period are:
- Poor posture
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Loss of mobility due to injury
- Lack of sleep
Myofascial pain syndrome has many causes, and therefore requires a multipronged pain management approach.
How Do I Prevent or Reduce Trigger Point Flare-Ups?
You can prevent or reduce trigger point flare-ups by minimizing some activities that induce flare-ups:
- Use ergonomic furniture if you spend long hours at your desk.
- Vary the types of exercises and sports you practice to engage different types of muscles.
- Rest for as long as is necessary when injured to allow your body to heal fully.
- Ensure you have a highly nutritious and balanced diet.
- Establish self-care routines and reach out to a therapist for any depression and anxiety.
Myofascial Release for Pain Trigger Points
Myofascial release for pain trigger points with the use of a transforaminal epidural steroid injection is ideal when targeting muscle pain near the spine, such as:
- lower back pain
- shoulder pain
- neck pain.
How Does TFESI Work?
A TFESI procedure happens in six steps:
- The physician administering the injection locates the appropriate site with a fluoroscope.
- A local anesthetic is applied at the injection site.
- The physician next inserts a thin needle into the numbed site.
- The needle is placed correctly between the spinal vertebrae with the help of the fluoroscope.
- Steroids are injected into the space between the vertebrae.
- The physician removes the needle and bandages the injection site.
You may need more than one injection, and each last between 20 and 30 minutes.
After a brief observation and recovery period, your physician will allow you to go home and rest for the day.
How Does TFESI Release Pain?
A TFESI treatment helps relieve pain by reducing inflammation of the nerves at the injection site.
As the pain decreases, the muscles relax, and the trigger points simmer down. This treatment does not eliminate the cause of the pain but allows your body to heal itself.
Speak to an experienced pain physician at a clinic like Lone Star Pain Management, in Texas about combining TFESI with other forms of pain management therapy.
Chronic conditions like myofascial pain syndrome can be debilitating. TFESI is but one step toward recovering mobility and enjoying an active lifestyle.
Chronic pain can be difficult to manage over time and you may need a variety of therapies and procedures to find the most effective approach to your specific condition.
Work with your primary care physician and pain management team to establish a safe treatment protocol. Your body does indeed keep the score and will let you know when things are awry.