What are trigger point injections?
Trigger point injections (TPIs) treat painful areas and alleviate symptoms in muscles that contain trigger points or “knots.” Trigger points develop when areas of muscles will not relax and stay tense for prolonged periods of time.
More often than not, trigger points can be felt under the skin. They often cause pain that can be felt in other parts of the body, called referred pain. Sometimes trigger points may not be painful but can cause problems in the future. A trigger point can be located anywhere in your body in any muscle group and can cause referred pain anywhere in the body, often along a nerve.
TPI is widely used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches and migraines. It can also be used to help myofascial pain syndrome, which is chronic pain in the soft tissue around muscles.
What does the trigger point injection itself consist of?
The injection consists of a local anesthetic and usually also an anti-inflammatory. The exact combination depends on what you and the medical provider agree upon to achieve maximum results.
During the TPI procedure, a medical healthcare professional inserts a small needle into the affected area. The needle is no larger than an acupuncture needle. Most patients report minimal or no discomfort from the injection itself.
The injection renders the trigger point inactive and pain relief is often instant. Usually, treatment will result in sustained relief and a return to normal activity. A single injection procedure only takes minutes. In many cases, several sites can be treated within one visit.
Side effects are minimal and consist of redness, soreness, and/or minor bruising around the injection site for up to 4 days. Applying ice to the region often helps minimize potential discomfort prior to and after each procedure.
How can TPI enhance my treatment plan?
When coupled with chiropractic care, trigger point massage, and physical therapy, TPI has been documented to achieve a non-surgical method for long-term musculoskeletal healing. Common conditions treated with Trigger Point Injections are:
- Ankle + Foot Pain
- Arm Pain
- Calf Pain
- Hand Pain
- Hip Pain
- Jaw Pain
- Knee Pain
- Numbness + Tingling
- Shoulder Pain
- Wrist Pain