Trigger Point Injections
Trigger Point Injection is a procedure done in the office for chronic muscle spasms causing pain. This information has been provided by your provider so you can better understand this procedure. Your provider will make the best recommendation for your specific needs.
What are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are localized muscle spasms. Muscle spasms occur when muscles become tight (contracted) for too long. This causes a decrease in oxygen to the muscle. This prevents the muscle from healing.
What is a Myofascial Pain?
Trigger points are a type of myofascial pain. Myofascial pain is caused by the muscle itself and/or the fascia (a type of connective tissue) that attach to the muscle. Sometimes myofascial pain feels like muscle tension. Other times it can be severe pain. The pain can be in a small area. This is called local pain. The pain can also be in a large area. This is called referred pain. Myofascial pain can occur in all body regions. The picture shows areas where trigger points can occur and where these trigger points can refer pain.
What Happens During an Injection?
The provider will locate the trigger point and then insert a thin needle directly into the trigger point. When the provider is sure the needle is in the correct place, the medicine (numbing medicine and/or steroid) will be injected.
What Happens After an Injection?
You may feel immediate relief and numbness in the region that was injected for up to six hours after the injection. Your pain may return after this short pain free period, or may even be a little worse for a day or two. This is normal. It may be caused by needle irritation or by the medicine itself. Steroids usually take two or three days to start working, but can take as long as a week. You can usually return to work the day after the injection, but always check with your provider.
How Long can I Expect Pain Relief?
How long you can expect pain relief depends on how many areas are injured, and on the amount of inflammation. Sometimes an injection can bring several months of pain relief, and then more treatment is needed. Other times, particularly if there is no underlying disc or joint problem, one injection brings long – term pain relief.
If your pain is caused by injury to more than one area, only some of your symptoms may be helped by one injection, IF this occurs, your pain provider will suggest several other treatments to help your pain.