To understand what trigger point injections are and how they work, we first need to know what a trigger point is.
Oftentimes, after physical trauma such as an automobile accident, a sports-related injury, or overuse, a band of muscles or knot will form in that area. This is what is known as a trigger point. With trigger points, your muscles may not be able to come to a completely relaxed state, they can limit your range of motion, and can be an irritant to the surrounding nerves. Usually, a nodule can be felt just under the skin where the trigger point occurs, making the area tender. If pressed, the pain can radiate to the surrounding areas, which is known as referred pain.
Trigger point injections are administered directly into the affected area. The process is relatively simple, safe, and involves little to no pain. The doctor locates the trigger point with manual manipulation, marks the area, and the injection is performed right in the office while you sit or lay down comfortably. The doctor treats the direct spot where the trigger point is located with a quick injection for pain relief. The whole procedure takes minutes, and you can resume your normal activities the same day. As the muscles begin to relax in the following days, you will notice an improvement in your level of pain.
What Conditions Can Be Treated with Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections can be used to relieve pain from a variety of conditions, including:
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Chronic musculoskeletal pain
- Chronic neck, back, arm, leg, and shoulder pain
- Migraine headaches
- Sports injury
- Car accident injury
- Pain that takes longer than normal to heal
- Pain that hasn't responded to other treatments