Current statistics on pain in the United States are overwhelming; In the United States, over 20% of adults have chronic pain and is estimated to cost the United States well over $500 billion annually (Dahlhamer, 2018). Globally, recurrent tension headache is the most common chronic condition and chronic low back pain is the single largest of cause disability (Rice, 2016; Vos et al., 2015).
Being involved in collegiate sports and participating in athletics all my life, I have had my fair share of sports injuries that have shown me how much pain can really alter someone’s functionality and quality of life. My personal experiences and my passion for physical fitness led me to my interests in kinesiology and natural approaches to pain management. – Vanessa Fitzgerald, NP
One of the natural approaches to pain management is trigger point injection therapy, a wonderful natural alternative to pain management; especially when a patient would like to avoid conventional medication.
What are Trigger Points?
A trigger point is the small, painful band of muscle that is tender to the touch. They can feel like small “marbles” under the skin, or just very tight and sore spots in your muscles. Those muscles containing the trigger points can be aggravated by stretching and exercise and slow your recovery process significantly. It is really important to break those trigger points up so that recovery can be effective. It is an excellent complementary therapy to physical therapy and rehab as well as osteopathic manipulation and chiropractic care.
A trigger point injection is a technique for pain relief. It involves a very small needle, similar to an acupuncture needle, and a small amount of lidocaine and homeopathic anti inflammatory herbs are inserted into the tight band of muscle.
Who is a candidate for Trigger Point Injection Therapy?
- Anyone with acute or chronic muscle pain symptoms. Examples: Migraine and osteoarthritis patients, injuries, stress induced tension etc.
- Describe pain as spasm, tight, ache, throbbing, sharp and shooting, often with radiating pain.
- Sometimes will have decreased movement due to spasm, pain.
- Usually history of aggravating event, injury, stress, etc.
In addition to trigger point therapy, many natural pain treatment options including inflammation control, nutrition and weight loss counseling, mindfulness, breath work, guided imagery, natural pain supplements and topicals.
I focus on a whole body approach including mind, body and spirit. My goal of treatment is to work with patients to explore and identify how the body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance. Vanessa Fitzgerald, NP
Vanessa Fitzgerald, NP, is a board certified family Nurse Practitioner who specializes in integrative medicine. She comes to the Kaufman Health and Hormone Center from the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, California where she worked in integrative cardiology, integrative mental health, integrative pain management, integrative cancer survivorship, integrative women’s health and integrative GI and gut health. With all of that experience you can see why she is such a great fit here. She completed her integrative medicine fellowship training through the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson.