After injection at the trigger point, most patients will experience pain relief 24 to 72 hours after the injection. Pain relief may last for about a month. Recurrent injections may be needed to achieve long-term pain relief. The frequency of injections at the trigger point depends on the type of medication contained in the injection.
If only anesthetics are injected, injections can be taken at intervals of one month. Steroid medications cannot be injected as often as anesthetics because of their complications. However, the effect of a steroid on trigger-point injections can last from several weeks to several months. Trigger point injections cause temporary pain for a day or two.
Multiple injections at a time may cause mild dizziness for several hours. Rare side effects, such as bleeding, allergies, infections and nerve damage, are mainly due to clinical errors and adverse reactions from these injections. After the trigger injection, patients most often complain of numbness and pain in the region of the injection. In very rare cases, patients have developed a skin infection around the region of the injection.
However, as long as you keep the injection area clean and disinfected after treatment, you don't have to worry about infection. Most people experience pain relief 24 to 72 hours after the trigger-point injection procedure. Pain relief usually lasts for about a month. If you continue to have pain after this time, your healthcare provider may recommend additional injections for long-term pain relief.
In addition to being painful, trigger points can cause a decrease in range of motion in the affected muscles. That's why it's very common to see that trigger points cause pain in athletes and other very active people, but there are other reasons for trigger points. Injections at trigger points with anesthetics cause the pain area to remain latent and reduce the sensation of pain. The good thing about trigger point injections is that the recovery time is minimal for most people receiving the treatment.
The patient is asked to sit or sleep in an appropriate reclining position to inject the medication at the trigger point. A trigger point forms when a muscle band doesn't fully relax after strenuous or repetitive activity. While some forms of chronic pain stem from more serious underlying conditions, you may be surprised to learn that trigger points are responsible for many types of chronic pain. Trigger point injections are given to inactivate trigger points, resulting in rapid relief from chronic pain.
Trigger point injections can also provide a significant improvement in range of motion and overall muscle functionality, depending on the muscle affected. Trigger points can cause pain where they are located, known as localized pain, or pain in apparently unrelated areas, called referred pain. A trigger point affecting the piriformis muscle (a gluteal muscle) can cause piriformis syndrome when the piriformis muscle puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Trigger points appear in muscles due to traumatic tissue injury, an underlying structural problem, spinal abnormalities, whiplash injury, degenerative disorders, viral syndrome, postural problems, and overuse of muscles.
Your specialist may also suggest exercises to help strengthen your muscle group and prevent future trigger points from developing. Trigger point injections, along with a rehabilitation program, can alleviate these symptoms and help restore normal muscle flexibility, function and strength. The trigger point refers to a sensitive, discrete, focal, hyperirritable, spastic or painful point in the muscle. Trigger point injections are generally safe and can relieve pain for people who have been experiencing pain associated with trigger points and who haven't found relief with more conservative treatments, such as over-the-counter pain relievers or physical therapy.