Doctors have used nonsurgical spinal decompression in an attempt to treat:
· Back or neck pain or sciatica, which is pain, weakness, or tingling that extends down the leg
· Bulging or herniated disks or degenerative disk disease
· Worn spinal joints (called posterior facet syndrome)
· Injured or diseased spinal nerve roots
How Is Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Done?
You are fully clothed during spinal decompression therapy. The doctor fits you with a harness around your pelvis and another around your trunk. You either lie face down or face up on a computer-controlled table. A doctor operates the computer, customizing treatment to your specific needs.
Treatment may last 30 to 45 minutes and you may require 20 to 28 treatments over five to seven weeks. Before or after therapy, you may have other types of treatment, such as:
· Electrical stimulation (electric current that causes certain muscles to contract)
· Ultrasound (the use of sound waves to generate heat and promote healing)
· Heat or cold therapy
Muscular Trigger Point Injection
Trigger point injection (TPI) may be an option for treating pain in some patients. TPI is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. Many times, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body.
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What Happens During a Trigger Point Injection?
In the TPI procedure, a health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient's trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic or saline, and may include a corticosteroid. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in a doctor's office and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit. If a patient has an allergy to a certain drug, a dry-needle technique (involving no medications) can be used.
When Is Trigger Point Injection Used?
TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treatfibromyalgia and tension headaches. The technique is also used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments. However, the effectiveness of TPI for treating myofascial pain is still under study.