Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections (TPI) may be an option for treating muscle pain in 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.
When do you know if you need a trigger point injection?
When do I know if I need a trigger point injection, you ask? Trigger point injection is used when a patient has a painful trigger point, especially when pain radiates from the trigger point to the surrounding area.
Trigger point injections may be used as a treatment for conditions such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome.
What Happens When You Get Trigger Point Injections?
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. Often, 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 can be injected in one visit. If you have an allergy to a certain drug, a dry-needle technique (with no medications) can be used.
How long will pain relief last?
If just anesthetics are injected, then the injections can be taken at intervals of one month.
Steroid medications cannot be injected as frequently as the anesthetics due to their complications. However, the effect of a steroid in trigger point injections can last from several weeks to several months.