Myofascial pain injections are used to treat a number of pain conditions including tension headache, neck and back pain, tennis/golfers elbow, ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain, knee pain and other joint pain.
These injections can soothe muscle pain caused by trigger points, which are painful “knots” in the muscle. They also target at the painful injured areas. Depending on the mechanism of pain, the injection can be administered at the local point (painful areas) or referred points (related pain but further away). The injectate includes local anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant mixture. They are effective in stopping muscle spasm and inflammation, reducing pain, thus enabling the patient to engage early in rehabilitation and therapy.
Myofascial Pain injections are very safe. The risk of complication from a Myofascial injection is very low. Complications such as bleeding and infection at the injection site are not common. However, temporary soreness or numbness at the injection site may be experienced post injections which the patient should recover from them in a few days.
Side effects from the injectate medications (though uncommon) include:
Nausea and vomiting
Ringing of ears
Tingling of lips
Shortness of breath
At times, cortisone (a weak steroid) may be added to the injectate to enhance healing or recovery. These weak steroids are generally safe without complications. However, if given in high doses or repeatedly without monitoring, they can pose some possible side effects: tendon injury/rupture, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.
Generally, these injections do not need to be given repeatedly. Depending on the underlying conditions, most injury related pain will heal completely after one off injection. Only if the underlying cause is due to a chronic condition eg. Immune mediate pain or ongoing degeneration, then these injections may be repeatedly at regular intervals every 1 – 2 yearly.