Trigger Point Injection: What You Need To Know

Trigger point injection can help soothe chronic muscle pain caused by trigger points and other musculoskeletal system issues. Trigger points are painful knots in your muscle that form when your muscles do not relax. You can feel these painful knots when you rub your skin. These trigger points cause pain in seemingly unrelated parts of the body—a phenomenon known as referred pain. Such pain can significantly limit your daily functioning and affect life quality. Thus, to help you with your muscle pain, your doctor may recommend a trigger point injection.

Procedure For A Trigger Point Injection

Trigger point injection is a simple outpatient procedure. We always perform this procedure under ultrasonography guidance. It only takes a 10-15 minutes to complete the procedure. Its steps are as follows:

Depending upon your muscle pain, you will have several trigger point injections over many weeks. However, steroid medications are not mandatory and only used once or twice.

Indications For Trigger Point Injection

Trigger point injection can help treat pain in many muscle groups such as arms, legs, lower back, and neck. Your doctor will recommend such an injection if traditional pain therapies, i.e., medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications, fail to alleviate your pain. These injections can be used to treat the following types of chronic pain:

Myofascial pain syndrome:

It is a type of chronic muscle and its surrounding tissue pain. Its causes may include muscle injury, poor posture, repetitive motion, etc. Symptoms of myofascial pain are muscle stiffness, weakness, and reduced range of motion.

Fibromyalgia: 

It is a type of muscle pain whose exact cause remains unknown. But, its risk factors include an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, infections, being female, etc. Its symptoms are pain, stiffness, and numbness throughout the body, poor sleep, and fatigue. When fibromyalgia is associated with myofascial pain, your doctor may perform trigger point injection.

Headache:

Trigger points in the shoulder, neck, and head may lead to migraine or tension headache.

Side Effects And Complications

Trigger point injections do not cause significant side effects. Injection site complications such as bleeding and infection are uncommon. But still, you may experience the following side effects:

These side effects are trivial and usually wear off within hours.

Advantages Of Trigger Point Injection

Its benefits may include:

Different people have different responses to trigger point injections. Some people begin to feel immediate relief from pain; in others, however, it may take days or even weeks. Yet, in others, these injections may not relieve pain at all.