What is it?

Trigger point injections have now become a popular treatment option for alleviating pain in many patients. It is a process by which troubled muscle areas with trigger points are relieved of the stress and pain. Knots are felt under the skin in many cases. Trigger points make the nerves around them irritated, which is what lead to extreme discomfort and pain.  Sometimes, the pain in these trigger points radiate to different parts of the body.

The Procedure

In the process, a qualified doctor or technician injects a needle into the patient’s trigger point. All trigger point injections contain saline or a local anesthetic, and sometimes include a corticosteroid. The trigger point gets inactive by the injection, alleviating pain significantly and quickly.

Generally, a short treatment course results in long-term relief. These are quick methods to ease pain as injections can be administered in a doctor’s office.

Am I a candidate?

Trigger point injections are prescribed to patients who exhibit symptoms and findings that have been consistent with active trigger points. It is important to note that latent trigger points are clinically asymptomatic. They do not require any kind of treatment. Trigger points must be suitable for injection.

Moreover, medical conditions such as an endocrine disorder and fibromyalgia are not appropriate for injections. In addition to that, the trigger points being tender should not be taken as the only factor for diagnosing whether you are in need of these injections.

If a patient is allergic to any certain drug, the process can also be executed by a dry-needle technique.

If an individual is taking medications to treat any infection, trigger points should not be injected. People who have anticoagulation or bleeding disorders must get properly evaluated before receiving trigger point injections.

However, research findings indicate that although bleeding can be increased in patients, there are not many risks of harmful bleeding that are associated with the use of such injections.

Pregnant patients should also avoid trigger point injections. People who are at high risk of injections, debilitated, people on steroids and patients with diabetes mellitus are not good candidates for this type of treatment.

There are a few risks attached to trigger point injections. These include allergic reactions and acute muscle trauma.

How long does the procedure take?

Qualified and professional doctors inject several trigger points in a single visit. Each visit does not take more than a few minutes.

A large number of patients receive an initial series of injections. These are often repeated two to three weeks later. The patient’s response to trigger point injections helps the physician to know whether they need additional injections.

Recovery Period

Patients must rest after the injections. Taking pain relieving medications and using an ice pack can alleviate pain or soreness owing to the procedure. The total recovery period is two to three days. Doctors commonly tell patients to resume their normal activities within a day after the process.

Final Thoughts

Not all trigger points require needling or injection. Sometimes, active trigger points respond well to physical therapy, particularly in the early stages of trigger point formation. Nonetheless, trigger point injections are one of the most effective and popular treatments for chronic trigger points.