Healing Muscle Injury: Safely and Effectively
Healing a muscle injury walks the line between being able to function normally and allowing your body to fully restore itself. You don’t want to be in pain, but you also want to do what’s best for healing. Traditionally, we use corticosteroid injections for muscle injury, but we’ve found, in the right cases, using Traumeel® injections is just as effective, without the side effects of steroid injections.
What Happens During a Muscle Injury?
Your muscles are made of rod-like muscle cells called myofibril that make up muscle fibers. When you injure yourself through sports or lifting something too heavy, you strain your muscle fibers, ripping them apart and causing damage. Your body then sends immune system cells (called neutrophils and inflammatory mediators) to flood the site of the damage. This is what causes the inflammation, swelling and pain you experience during a muscle injury.
Corticosteroid Injection Therapy to Manage Muscle Injury
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs. They work by preventing the immune system cells from accumulating at the damage site. In this way, corticosteroids reduce the local inflammatory response and severity of pain. The steroid injection may take a few days to take effect, but the pain relief may last for several weeks. Evidence shows mild to moderate pain relief lasting for six to eight weeks after a muscle injury.
Steroids are usually administered in combination with a local anesthetic around the damaged muscle or into the soft tissue around the tendon. This is often done under ultrasound guidance, to pinpoint the area of damage. In acute (traumatic) injuries, steroid/anesthetic therapy provides early pain relief. This allows you to get back to normal activity (assuming no significant structural damage) and allows you and your doctor to determine the extent of your injury. This treatment can also allow for early rehabilitation and reduce your chances of injuring yourself again.
The downside of using anti-inflammatory agents is that they can delay healing and scar formation, thereby risking re-injury. This is because of the way the injections interfere with the body’s natural tissue repair process. Long-term steroid therapy often delays healing and can also weaken your muscle tissue and increase the risk of infection.
These adverse effects of corticosteroid treatment have brought about the development of new injection therapies to provide pain relief from muscle injury without adversely affecting local tissue repair.
Using Traumeel® Injection Solution Therapy to Manage Muscle Injury
Traumeel® is a homeopathic combination drug that reduces inflammation, swelling, and oozing. The pharmacology involved is not yet completely understood. Studies suggest that the drug allows the body’s immune system cells to do their job, but somehow modifies their effects so that inflammation and pain are reduced. Injected locally, its pain relief effect is comparable to steroids, but without the risks of tendon rupture or skin color changes. A relatively old drug (available for eighty years), Traumeel® is licensed for frequent use, with the only warnings being adverse allergic reaction to the plant families it is made from. Among elite athletes, Traumeel® is very popular and praised for its effectiveness. Traumeel® is available in a topical preparation as well (marketed as T-Relief™ in the United States). There is data that suggests both topical and injected forms are just as effective as NSAID therapy (such as ibuprofen and naproxen), with fewer side effects and greater patient satisfaction.
Traumeel® Injection Solution is used for the treatment of symptoms associated with acute traumas (such as contusions, lacerations, fractures, sprains, post-operative wounds, etc.), repetitive or overuse injuries (such as tendonitis, bursitis, epicondylitis, etc.), and for minor aches and pains associated with such conditions. Traumeel® Injection Solution is also indicated for the treatment of minor aches and pains associated with backache, muscular aches, muscle injury, and the minor pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
At Legacy Family Medicine, we administer Traumeel® Injection Solution using a narrow gauge needle. The information on this page is provided so that you can read more about this alternative. Experience the immediate and long-lasting effects of these injections under ultrasound guidance and a comfortable, professional clinical environment!
Image Copyright: martinan / 123RF Stock Photo