What are Trigger Point Injections Used For?

Trigger Point Injections (TPI) are a form of pain relief that can be used to treat myofascial pain, particularly in the neck, shoulders, arms, legs and lower back. This type of pain is often caused by acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma, which leads to tension in the muscle fibers. Musculoskeletal pain is a common complaint that many primary care providers and pain professionals diagnose and treat. To achieve the best results, it is important to use a multimodal approach when treating this type of pain.Trigger Point Injections can be used as either a primary or complementary therapy to reduce pain in the musculoskeletal system.

By targeting specific points in myofascial pain, doctors can directly treat pathological tissue, address the patient's pain generator and break the pain cycle with minimal side effects. Patients can experience a significant improvement in range of motion and overall functionality without needing to take pain medications.A trigger point is usually identified as a “knot” or bump under the skin that causes pain in the area where it developed. Treating this type of pain at the trigger point is one of the most effective ways to remedy these problems. After treatment with Trigger Point Injections, patients can use the treated muscle but should refrain from strenuous activities for a few days.Trigger Point Injections can be an excellent complementary or primary therapy, along with muscle relaxants and other medications aimed at reducing pain in the musculoskeletal system.

If dry needling is used, treatment of that point is completed once the trigger point is relaxed. Post-procedure documentation should include the location of the treated trigger points, the muscles injected, the number of selected medications used (if any), the patient's position during treatment and the post-procedure plan.Immediate relief may be experienced by some people after Trigger Point Injections, while others may not respond to treatment. A study found that there were significantly more myofascial trigger points in people with migraines than those without. Common side effects that occur after an injection at the trigger point include numbness or pain at the site of the injection.

Ultrasound imaging can help minimize the risk of developing a serious complication from trigger-point injections.The most common muscle groups treated by Trigger Point Injections include masetero, levator scapula, gluteus medius, quadratus lumbar, trapezius, sternocleidomastoid and temporal muscles. This type of injection involves inserting a small needle into a myofascial trigger point and injecting a local anesthetic, sometimes combined with a steroid medication, into it to relax muscles and relieve pain. Communication with the patient throughout the procedure is essential to ensure that the treatment addresses an active trigger point.

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