Trigger Point Pain
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A trigger point is a tight, tender lump in your muscle. Trigger points may occur in your neck, shoulders, or upper and lower back. They may occur in your head or jaws. They may also occur in your buttocks or legs. Trigger points can cause deep, aching pain. You may only have one trigger point or you may have many in the different areas of your body.
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to decrease or take away pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Muscle relaxers: This medicine helps relax your muscles. It is also given to decrease pain and muscle spasms.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell healthcare providers if you take any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.
Self care for trigger points:
Follow all instructions your emergency care provider gives you. He may tell you to do the following:
- Stay active after you have trigger point injections. Gently move your joints through their full range of motion during the first week. Avoid strenuous activity for 3 or 4 days.
- Do regular stretches of the trigger point muscle. Place gentle pressure on the trigger point, and then stretch the muscle. Ask for more information about how to stretch and apply pressure.
- Apply ice or heat to the pain site. A bag of ice covered with a towel or a heating pad can help ease pain for a short time. Use ice and heat as directed.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down any questions you have so you remember to ask them at your follow-up visits.
Call your primary healthcare provider if:
- Your pain gets worse or does not get better.
- You have questions or concerns about your trigger point pain.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that starts suddenly.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.