Why introduce Trigger Point injections (TPI) to your practice? As you know, muscle aches and pains tend to follow people throughout their lives. Myofascial or craniofacial pain and related trigger points can be especially persistent and can occur after exercise, as a result of neck and shoulder trigger points and sleep habits such as repetitive bruxism.
Our patients tend to treat their own discomfort with self-care. This can include over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, and heat compress or even massage. Unfortunately, though, if the pain is persistent it can lead to continual discomfort from a trigger point, which is a sensitive, knotted area of muscle that requires additional care.
When patients experience painful trigger points and myalgias, the dentist can help. By providing trigger point injections at your practice, you can further improve your patients’ lives and reduce pain and discomfort. Trigger point injections help relieve pain quickly and can effectively restore muscle function. Both men and women can benefit from trigger point injections.
If you still need help deciding on whether to introduce trigger point injections in your office, here are seven reasons that might sway your decision.
1. Help patients with myofascial pain
Trigger points are often caused by strenuous or repetitive motion, injury or even stress. These can lead to other health issues such as tension headaches. The use of trigger point injections can help ease those headaches.
Trigger point injections have also been shown to help treat myofascial pain, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) and craniofacial pain after conservative treatment modalities have failed or been ineffective.
Several studies suggest that trigger point injections may improve the quality of life in patients who experience pain as a result of myofascial pain syndrome. In one study, 93% of patients with myofascial pain in different locations reported relief following these injections and without medications.
2. Treats chronic headaches
For patients who suffer from chronic headaches, trigger point injections can also help in controlling the pain. We often see patients with trigger points in the neck and shoulder muscles produce pain in the head.
A survey from the International Headache Society found that the most common indications for the use of TPIs in headache patients are for chronic tension-type headaches and chronic migraines. However, in one study, patients with chronic cluster headaches found relief from their pain when undergoing treatment with trigger point injections. This treatment led to significant improvement in almost all patients with chronic cluster headaches.
3. It is a quick procedure
If you are contemplating trigger point injections, one key factor to remember is this procedure is quick and easy to do. This procedure takes only minutes to complete in the office, which is beneficial to you and your patients.
And because the procedure is minimally invasive, you don’t have to spend excessive time preparing or recovering. Patients can schedule an appointment that fits into their busy schedule and return to their day as usual. However, patients should avoid strenuous activity for a few days after these injections. Other than that, there are minimal limitations.
4. Trigger point injections are effective
Patients will be in a comfortable position that provides access to trigger points. The more relaxed patients are, the easier it is to treat that muscle. After cleaning the skin around the trigger point, a needle will be inserted to inject a local anesthetic, a corticosteroid or both. This helps with immediate pain relief in many patients.
For some, just the needle’s presence in the muscle fibers can help break up the tension. As a result, patients will notice less discomfort.
5. Pain is reduced in referred areas of the head and neck
Trigger points are often located in just one isolated area of muscle, but it can cause pain in different areas of the body. This referred pain can lead to confusion about where the pain is coming from. Many people do not realize that a trigger point in one part of the body is causing discomfort elsewhere.
After treatment, patients report feeling better overall. That’s a win-win for all of us.
6. Patients experience improved function
Ultimately, trigger point injections are often a great option for patients with facial pain. And because pain and discomfort can make it difficult for patients to complete their day-to-day schedules, it is important to provide a solution. Pain and trigger points can often reduce the range of motion leading to headaches that may cause a lack of sleep. Improving the function of the area can help resolve these issues.
7. Medical insurance reimbursement
Many health insurance policies reimburse for trigger point injections performed by dentists. Medical billing codes for pain, myalgia of the muscles of mastication and orofacial pain are available for billing to medical plans. Reimbursement from medical insurance can help patients receive pain-relieving treatment and can be billed by the dental office.
If you are searching for treatment options to help reduce your patients’ pain and improve their quality of life, look to trigger point injection. With these injections, patients can find relief from their pain and discomfort. This procedure allows your office to help your pain patients achieve improved mobility, better sleep, and overall wellness. It’s a win for your office and a win for your patients.
Nierman Practice Management has decades of experience providing continuing education for dental sleep medicine. With hundreds of 5-star reviews from successful practices, NiermanPM can help you grow your practice. If you’re interested to learn and practice hands-on trigger-point injections sign up for our upcoming TMJ for the Dental Sleep Medicine Practice course in Atlanta, GA on February 21-22nd, 2020. Nierman Practice Management’s Crosscoding: Medical Billing in Dentistry is also offered on the same dates for dental team members and dentists.
Author: Dr. Mayoor Patel. DDS, MS.