Trigger Point Injection (TPI) Therapy
Trigger points appear as “knots” in your muscles, usually as a result of over-use or injury to the muscle. It is usually very tender to the touch because a focal area of inflammation develops and the muscle feels extremely tight and weak. In other words, the development of trigger points in the muscle is a process that leads to inflammation, then pain, then weakness, then joint and nerve dysfunction, and eventually severe injury. The length of time that it takes for this process to develop is usually dependent on how long you try ignore the symptoms and push ahead without getting treatment. Needless to say, trigger points are not simply “tight muscles” and unless you get them treated properly you will be a risk of developing greater injury.
Because of the repetitive and intense nature of sport, all athletes will develop trigger points in the muscles. They are a normal part of training and competing. These trigger points may simply slow you down for a short period of time, or they will ultimately lead to more serious injury such as joint pain or tendon and ligament tears. Therefore, athletes who train on a regular basis should consider trigger point injection therapy to avoid such problems.
Factors that contribute to the development of muscle trigger points include:
Overuse – Extrinsic Factors
- Inadequate warm-up
- Insufficient regular massage therapy
- Surfaces – too hard or too soft
- Inappropriate or worn-out shoes/equipment
Overuse – Intrinsic Factors
- Poor biomechanics
- Muscle fatigue and inadequate recovery time
- Muscle weakness
- Joint instability/hypermobility
- Poor flexibility
- Nutritional and health issues
- Psychological – impaired sleep, excessive stress, and depression
There is a lot of research to prove that trigger point injections achieve the most complete level of resolution of trigger points. A solution of Vitamin B12 and lidocaine is injected into the trigger points and relaxes the musculature while also stimulating the tissue to heal. In combination with physiotherapy and massage therapy as well as other physical treatment modalities, trigger point injection therapy is highly effective. Dr. Chan is board certified by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia to administer trigger point injection therapy.