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Trigger point injections are local injections of local anesthetics into areas of muscle spasm. Trigger points are areas of tight muscles bands or palpable “knots” of a muscle. These trigger points can cause localized pain and even referred pain patterns (pain which radiates away from the local site when pressure is applied).
What is the purpose of trigger point injections?
Injections can facilitate physical therapy, message, or break a painful cycle of muscle pain.
How long does the procedure take?
The actual injection takes only a few minutes.
How is it actually performed?
The area to be injected is cleansed with antiseptic solution and a small needle is used to enter the site of pain. Many different solutions can be injected local anesthetic, small doses of steroids medications, and normal saline maybe used to break the painful cycle. After the injections you are observed for several minutes for any adverse reactions and recovery from the procedure.
Will the procedure hurt?
The procedure involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues (like a “tetanus shot”). There is some discomfort involved. We use a very thin needle.
Will I be “put out” for this procedure?
No. This procedure is done under local anesthesia.
What should I expect after the procedure?
The painful sites will be numb, which can facilitate physical therapy, message or movement.
Can I go to work the next day?
Unless there are complications you should be able to return to work the next day. The most common thing you may feel is a sore muscle.
How long will the effects of the procedure last?
The local injections will only numb the areas for a short time but the ability to undergo physical therapy, message etc, may allow the painful cycle of muscle tension to be broken.
How many procedures do I need to have?
This will vary from patient to patient.
This procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, side effects and the possibility of complications. The other risk involves bleeding, infections, spinal block and injection into blood vessels and surrounding nerves. Fortunately, the serious side effects and complications are uncommon.
Who should not have this injection?
If you are allergic to any of the medications to be injected, are on a blood thinning medication ( e.g. Coumadin, Heparin, Plavix ), are or could be pregnant, or if you have an active infection going on, you should not have the injection.