Before my first set of trigger point injections about 2 weeks ago, my whole upper/middle back was hurting. After the injections, I had pain relief that lasted about 10 days. Roughly 3 days ago, the pain returned. This morning, the pain was back to where it was originally, with one key difference: only one section of my back hurt now. Here’s a little visual for you:
So today, I had another set of injections, directed only around my right shoulder blade. 2 trigger points were identified and injected. Now I’m numb again, once again enjoying the absence of pain.
I asked the doc, “So what’s the deal? Am I going to come here regularly from now on to get these shots as my pain sprouts up again?” He said, “Not exactly.” With trigger point injections, they normally inject lidocaine into the muscle to numb it. But it doesn’t make sense to get repeated injections over and over if the pain is recurring and chronic. Instead, he offered a nugget of hope. He said in cases like mine, where proper stretching of the affected muscle might not be possible (due to the nature of my stiff back), there is another injection I can get that would give me a longer amount of time without pain. It would work the same as the injections I’ve already gotten, but instead of giving me lidocaine, they would inject the muscle with Botox. Yeah, the same stuff that takes wrinkles off faces. Botox would essentially paralyze the muscle and nerve endings for up to 3 months. The doc said, “So, don’t worry, Mr. Rodriguez, there is still hope for you with other treatments. If we see that you are coming in repeatedly, we will suggest the Botox treatment for your pain next time.”
Hope is good. Options are good. You can’t see it, but I’m sighing right now. Feels nice to not have to worry so much.
Here’s to today’s injections and another (hopefully) 10 days or more without dealing with the grip of discomfort.