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As a “hot spot” on a skeletal muscle, a trigger point is a highly irritable area (or muscle knot) that when compressed, elicits severe pain and tenderness. Surprisingly, trigger points are not only associated with acute pain conditions. Individuals with chronic pain disorders experience trigger points as well.

When shortened, thickened muscles extend over a joint, and excess pressure is placed on the joint. In effect, this disrupts the alignment and causes pain. To better understand, a “short” muscle is one that is unable to lengthen during movement. Muscle imbalances involve several factors, from poor posture and stress to overuse or injury. As individuals continue to move and engage in activities (including sports), the muscle begins to move along the path of least resistance, which initiates a pattern of dysfunction. Even so, it must be understood that a short muscle is not the same as a tight muscle, and a short muscle can be a result of overuse or underuse.

As a suitable option for treating trigger point pain, physiatrists value the use of trigger point injections. When administered in conjunction with a comprehensive rehabilitation regimen, these injections provide patients with pain relief (often immediate) and improved range of motion.

Treatment and Rehabilitation Using Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are often incorporated into treatment and rehabilitation for muscle groups in the arms, legs, low back and neck. They are also used for other chronic pain conditions that have not responded to other methods. Even so, while physiatrists may suggest trigger point injections to assist in pain relief, they understand the power of effective rehabilitation to provide long-lasting results and maximum functioning. These may include selective therapies pertaining to motor control, posture and movement retraining, joint mobilization and manipulation, muscle stretching, neurodynamics training and massage.

At the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute in Tenafly, patients can rely on Dr. Liss to put together the right treatment, therapy and rehabilitation plan to ensure the most optimal outcome. Dr. Liss works closely with other specialists required to rehabilitate patients suffering from chronic pain or serious injuries, and Dr. Liss will refer patients as needed to ensure appropriate treatment. With extensive education and exposure to a variety of conditions that affect the cervical and lumbar spine, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, brain, and spinal cord, Dr. Liss is uniquely positioned to help patients manage their pain and maximize their functioning.

To schedule your appointment or to ask about how trigger point injections can relieve your pain, contact the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute today.

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