Muscles that are usually treated with trigger point injections include those in your jaw, neck, hip, a deep muscle in your low back, the muscle that extends over your back, your shoulders, the front of your neck, and the sides of your head.
Trigger injections can be used to treat myofascial pain, muscle overuse, chronic musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive strain, and muscle contractions. A trigger point is a painful area of muscle that’s tender when touched or pressed on.
In spite of the fact they originate on that skin area, they can unfortunately cause pain elsewhere in the body. It’s also possible for trigger points to develop in almost any muscle.
Oftentimes, trigger points are related to the piriformis muscle and cause piriformis syndrome in the buttocks. In this condition, the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. Consequently, your buttocks and the back of your leg can feel painful or numb.
Trigger Point Injections: How the Process Works
A pain management professional or doctor can use trigger point injections to inject medications into a trigger point. These injections have the potential to treat a variety of conditions, such as neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, leg pain, myofascial pain syndrome, and even fibromyalgia.
Trigger injections do not require any preparation on your part. Before getting a procedure, it’s important to consult your provider about current medications, symptoms, and overall health.
Local anesthetics and corticosteroids are two types of medication that may be used. Local anesthetic numbs the area and corticosteroids reduce inflammation and pain, with injections lasting only a few minutes.
It’s likely you will experience some pain when your pain management specialist locates a trigger point manually before injecting medication. When the needle and medicine are inserted, you may experience a stinging or burning sensation. If the needle tip touches the trigger point, you may feel a brief increase in pain. Inserting the needle correctly causes discomfort, but it also serves as a sign that the needle has been appropriately inserted.
Sometimes, healthcare providers combine injections with physical therapy or massage therapy. This means the injections are more effective and can reduce pain for a longer period of time.
An injection may be right for you if over-the-counter pain medications, heat therapies, massages, myofascial releases, and physical therapy have not helped relieve your trigger point pain. Trigger injections relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve range of motion, and improve muscle function.
Safe Administration of Trigger Point Injections
When over-the-counter pain medications and physical therapy won’t relieve pain, trigger point injections can provide relief. As well as improving muscle function, injections also increase range of motion.
Complications and side effects are rare, as trigger injections are very safe. There are rarely any bodily reactions. An injection may cause swelling beneath the skin, making a dent and causing minor pain or bleeding at the injection site for some patients. Any side effects should subside within a few days or less — if they even occur.
In some cases, trigger points can be resolved with just one injection. These injections loosen muscles and reduce inflammation, allowing for the treatment of many conditions such as minor trauma with just one treatment. As a result, the conditions should resolve within a couple of days or less.
Chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or myofascial pain can cause trigger points to recur, requiring regular injections. Depending on your circumstances, you may need repeat injections over time, whether it’s for one issue or another. Your pain level and response to treatment will determine the number of injections you need.
Helpful Q&A on Trigger Point Injections
Below are some helpful questions and answers regarding trigger point injections.
- What should you expect? After an injection, you can actively use the affected muscle. However, you should avoid strenuous exercise during the first few days.
- How long do injections last? The discomfort typically subsides between 24 and 72 hours after the injection procedure, and the pain relief can last for up to one month after that. To achieve long-term relief, your pain management specialist may recommend additional injections if you are still experiencing pain after this period.
- During this process, is there anything else that needs to be noted? Before recommending injections, a pain management specialist should conduct a thorough physical examination and exclude other causes of your pain. For many patients, the most common cause of pain happens to be structural back pain issues such as spinal stenosis, herniated disks, and degenerative arthritis of the spine. Muscle strains are also to blame at times.
Wellness and Pain Can Help
A range of options are available at Wellness and Pain to treat your pain with trigger injections. We offer conservative treatments, routine visits, and minimally invasive quick-recovery procedures. We can keep you free of problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice to help you avoid and manage issues, quickly relieving the conditions inhibiting your life by using cutting-edge injection techniques.
At Wellness and Pain, we personalize patient care plans based on each patient’s condition and unique circumstances to relieve pain, improve mobility and mental space, and improve your overall health.