What to Expect from a Trigger Point Injection

Trigger Point Injections (TPI) are a procedure used to treat painful areas of the muscle that contain activation points or muscle knots. These knots can be felt under the skin and can cause referred pain or pain that is felt elsewhere in the body. The most common side effect of a TPI is mild discomfort around the injection site. This pain is normal and should go away on its own one week after the injection at the trigger point.When receiving a TPI, you may experience some spasms and discomfort when the needle is inserted at the trigger point.

People with extremely tight muscles may even feel a crunch or a slight burning sensation. After the injection, the doctor will stretch and massage the muscle and surrounding area.Trigger point injections may be an option for treating pain in some patients who have not found relief with more conservative treatments, such as over-the-counter pain relievers or physical therapy. In addition to being painful, trigger points can cause a decrease in range of motion in the affected muscles. This strategy may be especially beneficial when an injection at the trigger point is initially used to reduce pain in people who are unable to perform physical therapy or stretching due to severe pain.Trigger point injections usually consist of injections of local anesthetic with or without corticosteroids, botulinum toxin, or without any injectable substance (dry needling).

They can provide a significant improvement in range of motion and overall muscle functionality, depending on the muscle affected.Trigger point injections can also help relieve myofascial pain, especially in the neck, shoulders, arms, legs and lower back. Trigger point injections, along with a rehabilitation program, can alleviate these symptoms and help restore normal muscle flexibility, function and strength.Some patients feel more pain than usual after injections at the trigger point once the anesthetic wears off, because the steroid medication can irritate the nerves. If you have received an injection at the trigger point and have signs of infection, such as fever or heat at the site of the injection, contact your healthcare provider.Myofascial pain and trigger points are very common and occur in approximately 85% of people at some point in their lives. 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 point injections are generally safe and can relieve pain for people who have been experiencing pain associated with trigger points.

If your trigger point pain hasn't improved with other treatments, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, heat therapy, massage therapy, myofascial release, and physical therapy, then a trigger point injection may be right for you.It may also be helpful to apply heat and ice to the affected area and take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) to treat any mild discomfort around the injection site.

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