Trigger Point Therapy

Lancaster PA Trigger Point Therapy

If you suffer from deep pain or stiffness in your jaw or neck, you may be experiencing myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). MPS can be caused by repetitive motion and the overuse of certain groups of muscles. The pain of MPS is also associated with the upper and lower parts of the back. People describe MPS muscle pain as knots or spasms that occur both day and night. Other symptoms can include swelling, a warming sensation, and pain so intense that it continually disrupts sleep.

The temporomandibular joints are often affected by MPS, because they are joints that work like hinges. When they are working as they are designed to, these joints allow your jaws to effortlessly move up and down and side to side. However, they experience continual wear and tear as we eat, drink, and talk, which in some individuals can lead to the painful muscle and joint disorder known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Symptoms of TMJ disorders may vary in intensity and can include pain or tenderness in the jaw, pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, aching pain in or around the ear, muscle tension or spasms, and a clicking sound when opening or closing the mouth. While the causes of TMJ disorders can be tough to determine, sometimes behaviors such as clenching or grinding teeth due to stress can be a risk factor. Obstructive sleep apnea can also be a risk factor, as well as having an unbalanced bite due to underdeveloped jaws.

Trigger Point Injection Therapy in Lancaster PA

One method that our dentist, Dr. Shea F. Stevens, can use to help alleviate sore or tense jaw and neck muscles is trigger point injection therapy. At Smiles by Stevens DMD, our highly skilled team offers an array of the latest, most advanced dental services available, including trigger point injection therapy to treat MPS and TMJ pain.

This technique works by a small needle being inserted into the affected area. The area, or trigger point, is in one of your muscles that has become tight enough to cause severe discomfort that then extends to nearby areas of your body. For instance, tightness that develops in your neck could lead to pain in your jaw, head, or shoulders, and increasing physical discomfort. These trigger points, or sensitive spots, form in the taut bands of the muscle known as fascia and can be felt as knots or nodules. These knots and nodules form when a muscle cannot relax. Injecting small amounts of anesthetic along with needling into the trigger point, or sensitive area, has been found to be an effective solution to alleviate the pain for many people.

With trigger point therapy injections, you may experience immediate relief, but in the majority of cases it can take from one to three days for the injections to take effect. By undergoing several treatment sessions, your symptoms may go away for an extended period of time. Some patients find that they never need to receive treatment again, while others have pain return eventually, necessitating further treatment. The risks of trigger point therapy injections are very low but can include a minor amount of bleeding or some soreness.

Your Favorite Family Dentist in Lancaster, PA

If you have experienced pain or stiffness in your jaw or neck and would like to learn more about possible treatment options, contact Smiles by Stevens DMD today at 717-581-0123 or for an appointment with our team. Whether you're ready to find a solution for chronic jaw pain or have other dental concerns, we invite you to contact our team today.