When Trigger Point Injections are the Best Solution for Sciatica

back pain, spine, decompression, sciatica, trigger point injection

Sciatica can be so intense that it leaves you immobilized and unable to perform daily activities. While everyone’s sciatica is different, the condition typically causes a sudden and intense pain that starts at your lower back and travels to the back of your thigh and along one leg as far as your foot. Some people experience weakness and numbness, leaving them unable to walk.

Sciatica occurs when pressure is put on your sciatic nerve or it’s inflamed. The longest nerve in your body, the sciatic nerve begins at your spinal cord, splits into each leg and travels to the bottom of each foot. The nerve controls how you move and feel your legs.

There are many sources for the pressure or inflammation that causes sciatica. Many people experience sciatica when their muscles form a knot and become unable to relax. The knot becomes a “trigger point” for pain, which can radiate, or spread, to other locations along the course of the sciatic nerve.

Trigger point injections administered by an experienced physician can be an effective treatment for sciatica caused by a muscle knot. When appropriate, the procedure can provide immediate relief, allowing you to return to daily activities that were interrupted by sciatica pain. The relief also may be sufficient to allow you to participate in physical therapy to prevent a recurrence.

Sciatica expert Sham Vengurlekar, MD, of Premier Pain Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, has the expertise to diagnose the source of your sciatica and determine whether trigger point injections can help. With over four decades of pain management experience, Dr. Vengurlekar helps patients suffering from sciatica find relief with trigger point injections as well as other innovative treatment procedures.

What is involved in a trigger point injection?

A trigger point injection can treat pain in areas where muscle sensitivity and pain exist. The procedure involves injecting the skin with an anesthetic and/or a corticosteroid. In some cases, a needle without medication is injected into the affected area in a variation of the procedure called, “dry needling.”

A trigger point injection is an in-office procedure. Depending on your condition and the exact location of your trigger point, you may lie on your stomach or sit upright during the procedure. Dr. Vengurlekar and his staff ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible.

The injection site is sterilized before the needle is inserted. Ideally, a trigger point injection relieves your pain with one injection, though some patients require a series of injections over time. Any post-injection pain or swelling can be treated with ice, heat, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

Is a trigger point injection right for your sciatica?

A trigger point injection is most effective when your sciatica is associated with a trigger point, or muscle knot in your arm, leg, lower back, or neck. When compressed, the knot may send pain to the surrounding areas. A trigger point can also send pain to other areas of your body, so that a trigger point in your neck may send pain to your lower back.

Your sciatica may be associated with a trigger point if you experience any of the following symptoms:

A trigger point injection is not used for sciatica caused by nerve pain. It also may not be appropriate if your pain is accompanied by systemic or local infection. Patients with certain conditions, such as bleeding disorders, may also be better suited for other treatment options.

Only a pain management specialist can diagnose the source of your sciatica pain and advise how to treat it. After a thorough examination and medical history, Dr. Vengurlekar determines whether a trigger point injection or another procedure can give you the best outcomes.

Don’t suffer another day. Learn more about trigger point injections and other innovative options for managing sciatica pain. Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Vengurlekar online or by calling our office.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect After Receiving a Nerve Block

Persistent pain can tear your life apart. Fortunately, you can reclaim part or all of your usual former active and productive lifestyle with nerve block injections. Learn how a nerve block procedure works and what to expect after receiving one.