Trigger Point Injection
Trigger point injection (TPI) is a treatment for chronic pain that is designed to combat referred pain, which can be notoriously difficult to track down and treat. Referred pain is a crucial pain mechanism in the development of TMJ, which has made it hard for many people with the condition to get the treatment that really relieves their symptoms. Because patients report pain in places where there is no obvious problem, the symptoms are often labeled “psychosomatic,” and people may be prescribed generic pain medication, antidepressants or other psychological medications, or even a placebo.
Trigger point injection is designed to identify the source of these symptoms and treat them there, relieving the discomfort that can often be quite distant from the source.
How Do Trigger Point Injections Work?
Trigger point injections numb your pain at the source, not where it’s felt. Referred pain is generated at one point, but it is felt somewhere else that typically shares either a sensory nerve branch or processing point in the brain.
Once the trigger point is located, a local anesthetic is used to numb it. Sometimes an injectable steroid is used as well to help control swelling that can contribute to pain. Depending on the exact circumstances, pain relief may be immediate or may take time to develop.
Benefits of Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections are often a better way to address chronic pain in the head, neck, and jaw. That’s because trigger point injections:
- Work when other treatments don’t
- Relieve pain at the injection site and referred site
- Provide long-lasting relief
- Are a noninvasive treatment
- Have little risk of complications
Because of these advantages, trigger point injections are a great option for treating TMJ. The complex configuration of muscles, nerves and joint structures makes referred pain much more likely.
Prolotherapy (short for proliferation therapy) is an injectable treatment that seeks to stimulate your body’s healing mechanisms to address the source of your pain. It can be used to treat chronic pain and tenderness related to:
- Overuse injuries
- Degenerative disorders
- Arthritis (including arthritis of the temporomandibular joint)
The result can be long-term, even permanent healing of the affected areas.
How Prolotherapy Works
Prolotherapy works by stimulating your body’s immune system to trigger healing. This is done by injecting an irritant solution into the source of the discomfort. Typical formulations include a local anesthetic, dextrose, and vitamin B12.
When the body senses the irritation, proliferative cells are dispatched to the area as part of an inflammatory response. The body begins to repair the affected area, laying down new collagen, which can strengthen the affected structures, especially tendons, ligaments, and joint discs.
Typically, a series of treatments are required to achieve the desired results. The exact number depends on the nature of your problem and your body’s response to therapy.
Benefits of Prolotherapy
Prolotherapy is a great treatment option for TMJ and related symptoms because it:
- Is noninvasive
- Doesn’t restrict your activity
- Is easy to fit into your schedule
- Can provide long-term relief
- Can improve function
- May increase resilience against future injury
- Low risk of complications
Prolotherapy isn’t just an attempt to reduce your symptoms. Its goal is to achieve true healing that promotes functions, strength, and resilience. It is a genuinely rejuvenative treatment that doesn’t interfere with your daily function.
Will You Benefit from Injection Treatments?
If you are unhappy with treatments that you’ve been offered for your head, neck, or jaw pain, we can help. Injection treatments like TPI or prolotherapy are targeted, noninvasive, and effective.
To learn whether these treatments can help you, please call (303) 691-0267 today for an appointment with a Denver TMJ dentist at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado.