Trigger points are areas of muscle that have a feeling of severe tightness to them, with some patients likening them to a tightly knotted group. These areas are commonly tender when touched and sometimes, result in involuntary muscle spasms and pain when pressed forcefully.
Trigger points result from an overused muscle group, with this overuse often being the result of one or more conditions within the patient. These can include spinal issues, general stress of the muscles, muscular injury such as whiplash, and over-activity of the muscle. A trigger point injection into this area can help to provide pain relief to the patient and will loosen the muscle to make it more receptive to other treatments.
A trigger point is a “knot-like” band of muscle that may be palpated beneath the skin and cause pain.
What will a Trigger Point Injection treat?
Trigger point injections have applications for any pain that is the result of one or more trigger points in the patient. Normally, these will manifest as pain in the neck, back, arms, or legs, but may also manifest as episodic headaches if the trigger points are located near the head. This injection can also provide relief for conditions such as TMJ Syndrome, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, or episodic headaches (tension and migraine). It is common for a trigger point injection to be used in conjunction with other treatment methods, as trigger points are normally present due to other causes.
How is a Trigger Point Injection performed?
The trigger point injection is a simple procedure performed in the comfort of the pain management clinic. The area around the trigger point itself will be sterilized in preparation for the injection, where a tiny needle will be inserted directly into the trigger point.
The physician will be looking for the muscular response to the trigger point stimulation, which, while likely uncomfortable for the patient, will be direct confirmation that the needle is in the correct place. Once the needle has been placed within the trigger points, a small amount of anesthetic will be injected in order to numb the surrounding tissue.
For some patients, the physician may opt to remove and re-insert the needle multiple times in order to stimulate the area. Each time, anesthetic will be injected. This forced stimulation helps to draw the anesthetic into every bit of the surrounding tissue to provide better relief.
How well do Trigger Point Injections work?
These injections are best used in tandem with other treatment options to help deal with the root cause of the trigger point. That being said, trigger point injections are still able to provide a moderate amount of relief when used alone. They can be relied on to be an effective treatment for myofascial pain and some cases of TMJ. These injections are also viable in the treatment of tension headaches, reducing both the duration and the frequency of occurrence.
Trigger Point Injection
What are the risks of a Trigger Point Injection?
There is very little risk associated with this procedure. There is a small chance of infection, swelling, bleeding, or pain at the site of injection. There is also the chance of an allergic reaction to the medications used, but this is rare. The largest risk is the possibility of scar tissue formation on the affected muscles, which occurs from too many injections on the same trigger point within a small window of time.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Trigger Point Injections, contact Texas Pain Network today. Over 50 insurances are accepted along with medication management, interventional procedures, chiropractic, PT and more.
Call (210) 202-4030 for more information and scheduling with the best pain clinics in San Antonio!