Monday, May 13, 2013

Trigger Point Injections.

In case you didn't know, CF is painful!  The pain can be from various things; arthritis, general inflammation, headaches from oxygen deprivation, and more.  If you know me or if you've been following my blog for a while you know about my crusade to get some relief from my chronic back pain.

Since I cough so much the muscles in my back are constantly being strained and pulled.  From my mid-back up I have many muscles that are constantly knotted up to the point that they pull my vertebrae out of alignment.  On a good day its just annoying.  On a terrible day its debilitating.  I've been to chiropractors, massage therapy, physical therapy, pain specialists, and acupuncture.  I've tried various medications that are usually prescribed for chronic pain.  Massage an acupuncture have been the most effective but they are expensive.  When I went on disability I couldn't afford them any more.

A few months ago my primary care doctor and I talked about trigger point injections.  I would have done it sooner but then I had two hospitalizations, did some house sitting, and moved.  Today I went to see her for my first trigger point injections.

TPJs are injections of either lidocaine and saline or lidocaine and steroids right into the knotted up muscles.  Then the fluid is massaged in to spread it out through the muscle.  I elected to have the lidocaine and steroids since my pain can be so severe and I'm not going to stop coughing any time soon.  Hopefully the steroids will reduce the inflammation in those muscles.

The injections themselves weren't bad at all.  I've had flu shots that hurt worse.  In a weird way it felt kind of good, that "hurts so good" feeling.  My doctor said that for some people there is little to no relief but that others will have spectacular results that last for months.  Right now the injection sites are sore from being jabbed with a needle (duh!), it feels like a bruise.  I'm hopeful that it will help though.  I've had some really good upper back and neck pops this afternoon and evening.  With any luck my spine is coming back into the correct alignment.

I'll keep you all posted on how this pans out.  I think it could be a wonderful solution to for people with chronic muscle pain, especially my cysters and fibros.  Its minimally invasive, not very painful, and the few potential side effects are minimal.

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