Trigger points are specific, sensitive areas within a tense skeletal muscle strip. They form constricted bands or nodules when our muscles fail to unwind following a contraction, resulting in muscle spasms and discomfort. Trigger-point injuries commonly occur but are not limited to in the muscles of the upper back and shoulders due to excessive strain, acute injuries, or chronic muscular conditions. These injuries can irritate the neighboring nerves, leading to the spread of pain to surrounding regions. This is where trigger point injections can help to get rid of the pain.
Let us learn more about trigger point injections, exploring how they will work and their benefits and risks.
What Are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections help treat your chronic muscle pain that originates from myofascial trigger points.
These injections may include:
- Local Anesthetic (Lidocaine): To block muscle pain receptors.
- Corticosteroid: To reduce muscle and connective tissue inflammation near a nerve.
- Botulinum Toxin A (Botox): To block nerve signals, thus preventing muscle contractions.
Where Trigger Point Injections Work?
Trigger point injections work to relieve pain associated with the following muscle groups:
- Masseter (a muscle in your jaw)
- Quadratus lumborum (a deep muscle in your lower back)
- Gluteus medius (a muscle in your hip)
- Trapezius (a muscle extending on the back of your shoulders and neck)
- Temporalis (a muscle on the sides of your head)
- Levator scapulae (a muscle on the sides of your neck)
- Sternocleidomastoid (a muscle in the front of your neck)
- Paraspinal muscles
What to Expect During a Trigger Point Injection Procedure?
During your trigger point treatment, your healthcare provider will ask you to sit or lie down on an exam table, depending on the trigger point that needs to be treated. Then, they will thoroughly clean and pinch the area to stabilize the tissue.
After that, a needle is inserted with repeated insertions and retractions without withdrawing the needle from your muscle or skin. You may feel like your muscle twitches or cramps, but the needling will be done in multiple directions until your muscle relaxes or the cramping or twitching subsides.
After that, the area is injected with a local anesthetic with or without corticosteroid or Botulinum toxin. Once the medication is injected, the needle will be removed, and you will be discharged within some time.
Benefits of Trigger Point Injections
The benefits are as follows –
- Minimally Invasive: Trigger point injections require no sutures or incisions, as the medication is administered through a needle.
- Minimal Side Effects: The injections typically don’t cause any major adverse side effects that interfere with your routine activities, except temporary soreness and bruising at the injection site.
- Targeted Pain Relief: The injections offer prompt and comprehensive pain relief, as they accurately target the source of pain.
- Compliments Other Treatments: Trigger point injections can work well with other treatments, such as medication or physical therapy, for more complete pain relief.
- Durable Results: Depending on the treated trigger point and the individual’s overall condition, the injection may provide relief for several months.
Risks of Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point therapy is considered safe and may present only temporary complications or side effects, such as numbness, bruising, and discomfort around the injection site. These are better manageable with pain-relief medications or ice packs.
Rare complications of trigger point injections include:
- Vascular (vein) injury
- Allergic reaction to the anesthetic agent
- Pneumothorax (in the thoracic region)
How Painful Is a Trigger Point Injection?
It is expected to feel pain when your healthcare provider is locating the trigger point before the injection. The touch of trigger points is usually painful so you may experience discomfort. Additionally, when the needle and medication are injected, you may feel a stinging and burning sensation. As the needle reaches the trigger point, there might be a temporary increase in pain. However, this discomfort is an indication that the needle is placed correctly.
See Also: Celiac Plexus Block
How Long Do Trigger Point Injections Last?
The majority of individuals usually begin to feel relief from pain within 24 to 72 hours following the trigger point injection procedure. Typically, this pain relief persists for approximately one month. If you continue to experience pain beyond this period, your healthcare provider might suggest additional injections to provide long-term pain relief.
By delivering a combination of local anesthetics and anti-inflammatory medications directly into the trigger points, trigger point injection offers immediate relief and promotes faster healing. Also, the treatment has no downtime. So, without hesitation, you can get trigger point treatment in Coppell, Texas, to alleviate your chronic muscle pain, restore your range of motion, and improve your overall quality of life.
Effectively Manage Your Myofascial Pain at Apex Interventional Pain & Spine in Coppell, Texas
Apex Interventional Pain & Spine is your one-stop medical center to experience the highest possible relief from all your myofascial-related pain and discomfort. We offer trigger point injections to effectively target the source of your pain and provide long-lasting relief. We have experienced and highly trained professionals to treat all your trigger point discomforts with desired comfort. Contact us today or book an appointment to live a pain-free life. You can also call us at 972-833-7256 to learn more about our pain management treatments.