Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections are a treatment option for pain in areas that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. Trigger points may develop after injury or overuse of the affected muscle, or may be caused by stress and anxiety. These points can also irritate the nerves around them and therefore cause pain in other areas of the body. The chronic pain that is brought on by trigger points may result in a decreased range of motion in the affected muscle as well.
A needle containing a local anesthetic, and sometimes a steroid to reduce inflammation, is inserted into the trigger point to make it inactive and therefore alleviate the pain. The procedure typically takes between 15 and 20 minutes and is done in the doctor's office. Multiple sites can receive trigger point injections in one appointment, if necessary.
This procedure is considered very safe and has few side effects. In some cases, the patient may feel sore around the injection site for up to two days following the procedure, but ice usually relieves this symptom. Normal activities may be resumed immediately after the treatment. Trigger point injections not only relieve pain, but also loosen the muscles that are responsible for the pain to ultimately help with the rehabilitation process.
Trigger point injections are most commonly used to treat pain in the neck, lower back, arms or legs. It is also effective for those who suffer from tension headaches, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ) or fibromyalgia. This treatment may be employed for those with myofascial pain syndrome as well. This is a chronic pain condition in which trigger points develop in certain muscles and cause pain when touched. Patients with this condition often experience deep aching pains in the affected muscle that worsens over time, as well as muscle and joint stiffness and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can significantly affect a person's quality of life and should receive proper medical attention if they do not subside. Over time, patients with untreated myofascial pain syndrome may develop muscle weakness or fibromyalgia.
Vitamin B12 Injections
Vitamin B12 is an important substance that contributes to the functioning of the brain, nerves and blood cells. Injections of this vitamin can be very beneficial in treating pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. A vitamin B12 deficiency may be found in people of any age, but is most common in those people 50 or older.
The Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for everyone from the age of 14 through adulthood is 2.4 mcg. The only exception is during pregnancy and nursing, when a woman’s body requires 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg, respectively. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in many foods, including clams, liver, trout and salmon. It is added to other food sources, such as certain breakfast cereals, to help ensure that most people receive an adequate amount of this important vitamin. However, since the majority of the foods containing vitamin B12 are derived from animal products, there may be vegetarians or others on restricted diets who develop a deficiency.
In addition, older people, patients with pernicious anemia and people with certain intestinal or stomach conditions may have trouble absorbing enough vitamin B12 even if they are eating a diet rich in it. Taking oral dietary supplements of vitamin B12 may not be help either, since they require proper absorption. In these cases, vitamin B12 injections are a necessity to restore bodily levels and correct the deficiency. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a serious form of anemia, fatigue, weight loss, constipation and other symptoms. It can also affect balance and result in memory loss, confusion, depression and even dementia.
Injections of vitamin B12 are the most effective way to treat a deficiency since this method of delivery is direct and does not rely on gastrointestinal absorption. The injection is quick to perform but may be associated with some discomfort. The vitamin will typically be injected into a muscle of the thigh, upper arm or hip. Side effects are extremely rare. The number and frequency of vitamin B12 injections required will vary depending upon your particular condition.
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