Trigger Point Injections
Trigger points are small, focal muscle spasms that are sustained and can cause significant discomfort. Trigger points can often be felt as knots directly under the skin and are tender to deep palpation. Trigger point injections are a reasonable treatment option for those who have significant pain, functional impairment and have failed more conservative care such as medications, topicals, massage and physical therapy.
Trigger point injections can be performed in the office setting. Trigger point injections consist of locating the specific regions of trigger points and cleansing the skin over these regions. A small gauge needle is then placed directly into the middle of the trigger point, followed by moving the needle in a fan-like fashion around the trigger point. Medication may also be placed into the trigger point, including saline, an anesthetic and/or steroid. These injections can provide dramatic acute and sub-acute pain relief and, when used in conjunction with a home stretching and exercise program, can be extremely helpful.
After Your Injection
- Following TPIs, you may experience soreness for one to three days; the soreness is minor and can be treated with local ice application. Rarely, one will experience an increase in symptoms following this injection. The average time it takes to begin noticing pain relief ranges from immediate to three days, and the average length of time TPIs provides relief is several weeks. Results can vary widely and depend on several factors.
- You may return to work or school the day following your injections. No additional time off will be necessary.
- If you are a diabetic, please know that your glucose levels may rise temporarily. Consult your PCP or endocrinologist if your glucose levels rise higher than 200 mg/dL or remain slightly elevated for more than three days as you may require coverage with a different medication.