BOTOX® injections or other trigger point injections may be recommended by our dentists if you suffer from chronic myofascial pain. But what exactly is this pain condition? It involves discomfort caused by tensed, knotted muscles. The pain usually begins at the trigger point but is “referred,” so it is felt in other areas of the body.
To learn more, or to discuss your options, please call the DENTAL STUDIO SF at 415-689-8171 to arrange a consultation. Our state-of-the-art dental office is located across the street from Union Square in San Francisco.
What Is Myofascial Pain?
Myo- is a prefix referring to muscles, while fascia is the connective tissue surrounding your muscles, thus the word myofascial indicates pain in the muscles and fascia. At the DENTAL STUDIO SF, our dentists see many cases of orofacial pain related to myofascial trigger points (orofacial pain occurs in the mouth, jaws, and face). Most cases of orofacial pain originate from the muscles and fascia surrounding the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs.
Myofascial pain can be so debilitating that it affects your daily life. It originates in your muscles, at the trigger points, which are focused areas of tense muscles. Your muscles’ trigger points may cause the symptoms if they are stressed, strained, or overworked.
If you experience chronic myofascial pain, you may have a point in your body where the pain is focused. It may feel like aching. The pain may originate in the muscle affected, or it may be “referred” pain, meaning you feel it somewhere else nearby or far from the point of origin.
Myofascial pain emanating from a trigger point has been linked to:
- Jaw pain
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Generalized muscle pain
This type of tenderness can be truly life-altering. The daily inconvenience and discomfort are not anything you should have to live with. Ask our dentists about your treatment options today.
Myofascial Pain Treatment
Effective treatment relies mostly on finding the source of the soreness and the cause. Most often, myofascial pain is treated with some combination of the following:
- Trigger point injections. Our dentists may recommend injections directly into the trigger point. The injection usually contains lidocaine, which will relax the tensed and knotty muscle.
- BOTOX® trigger point injections. We may recommend injections of BOTOX® to relax and calm the tensed muscles leading to your discomfort. Injections may be made around the jaw joints or other trigger points.
- Photobiomodulation therapy. Sometimes referred to as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Low Level Light Therapy, or Laser Biostimulation, this treatment can repair tissue, diminish pain, and create the environment necessary for tissue regeneration. Photobiomodulation therapy can also reduce inflammation and stimulate wound healing. This technique basically comes in two different forms: Biostimulation and Bioinhibition. A low power density is utilized to reduce inflammation and help wounds, joints, and tendons heal. A high power density is capable of creating a neural block response, which can be effective for stimulating the healing process, reducing pain, and improving circulation. For some patients, photobiomodulation can serve as an alternative to pharmacologic therapies for trauma, healing, and pain.
- Ethyl chloride spray and stretch. The idea here is to temporarily desensitize the trigger point with the cooling spray, allowing the muscles to be stretched. This skin cooling spray can relieve trigger point pain for several hours.
- Stretching and physical therapy. A physical therapist can manipulate, massage, and stretch the tensed and knotted muscles associated with the trigger points.
These are just several of the most common options. There are other potential treatments for myofacial pain that can be discussed.
Arrange An Evaluation
Ready to schedule an evaluation with our experienced dentists? Please call the DENTAL STUDIO SF at 415-689-8171. We can determine whether trigger point injections and BOTOX® can help you find relief from myofascial pain or other types of head, neck, jaw, and TMJ pain.