What are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are localized tender spots in the muscles often detected as lumps or “knots.” Trigger points form when a muscle is injured, or overly tense. Chronic inflammation in the muscle and physical/emotional stress all contribute to “knots” and formation of scar tissue which may be helped with TPIs (trigger point injection). Trigger points can also form through time by the process of wear and tear on the muscle. Trigger points occur when normal, perpendicular muscle fibers get tangled and distorted out of their uniform pattern. Trigger points are felt as a taut band of inflamed muscle fiber and are painful when pressed.
Many people who have trigger points may also have fibromyalgia and or myofascial pain syndrome.
In the TPI procedure, our health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient’s trigger point. The injections at our clinic contain a local anesthetic called Lidocaine or completely natural Sarapin. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. The advantage of the natural plant botanicals like Sarapin is that they have a history of over 70 years of demonstrated safe, nontoxic usage, they are not drugs and have no known side effects and are non-toxic. Corticosteroids are more potent for more severe pains but have multiple side-effects. The trigger point injection will stimulate healing as the circulation is increased into the deeper layer muscle fibers and they can once again return to a uniform pattern.
Trigger Point Injection (TPI) is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the neck, upper back, rotator cuff and lower back. It can also be used for tendonitis, bursitis or joint pain in the arms and legs. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches. TPI also is used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.
We have found that a person responds much quicker when TPIs are done in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. This has been found to yield better results than with TPI or acupuncture alone. Injections are performed at Pinnacle Integrative Health and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit. It depends on the individual case, some people’s pain will resolve after their first visit, but usually it will take 8-12 visits.
If you have ever suffered for chronic back, neck, or joint pain the odds are overwhelming that you have probably heard of cortisone, right?
So what do these two medicines have in common? They can both be used to treat chronic pain to reduce inflammation and they both provide pain relief. They are also both medicines that are recognized by the FDA and AMA, and both require prescriptions for treatments requiring injections.
Lastly, they are both recognized as possible treatments for the following ailments: Sciatic Pain, Intercostal Neuralgia, Alcoholic Neuritis, Occipital Neuralgia, Brachial Plexus Neuralgia, Lumbar Neuralgia, headaches, migraines, and many more. But that’s where the similarities end.
Sarapin is an all natural biological medicine – which means it is derived from a naturally occurring organism (the Pitcher plant, Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae families). It works by stopping pain signals in the nerves of the spine where they exit the spinal column. It does not affect any other nerve functions or motor functions and is not affected by heat or cold. Cortisone, on the other hand, is chemical medicine – which means it is made using a chemical process.
Sarapin has no known side effects.
Conversely, cortisone (synthetic hormone) injection has severe side effects including thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face, elevation of blood pressure, cataract formation, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), and a rare but serious damage to the bones of the large joints (avascular necrosis). While these side effects are not common, and there are many positive benefits of cortisone when used properly, chronic pain management professionals should only resort to the use of cortisone when other methods and less toxic medicines have proven ineffective.
The simple reason is that Sarapin lacks profitability and marketing. As a biological medicine that has been in use for over 70 years, Sarapin cannot be patented. As a result, it can be made and sold on the open market without the huge price mark-up that are afforded to patent protected medicines. (Patent protection is the same reason why branded drugs are so much more expensive that generic drugs that have the same chemical composition.)
Not surprisingly, Sarapin has never had the financial sponsorship of a large pharmaceutical company to pitch it to doctors via the pharmaceutical company’s national network of drug representatives.
Understandably, it’s not your doctor’s fault that he or she may not be aware of Sarapin or how it can be used to address your pain. Fortunately, our talented medical team are aware of the benefits of Sarapin and how it can be used to treat chronic pain.