Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections (TPIs) are outpatient procedures that are used to treat painful areas of muscle that have trigger points or knots of muscle that result from stress.

What are trigger point injections?

Trigger point injections (TPIs) are outpatient procedures that are used to treat painful areas of muscle that have trigger points or knots of muscle that result from stress. Knots can often be felt in the muscles when they do not relax. Trigger points can irritate the nerves around them, causing pain that is felt in another part of the body (referred pain).

What do they treat?

TPIs are used to treat many muscle groups, with the neck, arms, lower back and legs being the most effective treatment sites. Additionally, they can also be used to resolve tension headaches and fibromyalgia, which is widespread muscle tenderness and pain. Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder where trigger points cause referred pain. This syndrome often occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively, either from constant motion or stress-related muscle tension. Trigger Point Injections are used to alleviate these symptoms but its effectiveness for treating this chronic pain disorder is still being studied.

What happens during the procedure?

During a TPI, a medical professional will insert a small needle into the trigger point. The injection will contain saline or a local anesthetic and might have corticosteroid (strong medicine used to treated arthritis). With an injection, the trigger point becomes inactive and the pain is relieved. In most cases, a brief course of treatment can result in sustained pain relief. These injections can be scheduled and given at a doctor’s office and usually take a few minutes. Your doctor may inject several spots during your appointment, depending on the number of trigger points. If you have an allergy to certain drugs, a dry-needle technique that involves no medications can be performed.

Do you have questions or concerns about Trigger Point Injections?

If you are suffering from muscle pain and spams, especially referred pain, schedule an appointment with your physician at your earliest convenience. If you live in San Diego County and you have questions about this procedure, call the experts at North Coast Family Medical Group at (760) 942-0118.