A trigger point is the center of a muscle spasm, frequently an obvious bump, often occurring in the upper back and shoulder areas. The trigger point area is sensitive, and usually when it is pressed on, pain radiates from the trigger point to the surrounding area. A trigger point injection is the injection of medication (usually local anesthetic and/or anti-inflammatory) into the trigger point in order to relieve pain and tension.
Commonly used to treat or diagnose pain due to:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Tension headache
- Temporomandibular pain
When you come in for the procedure, you will have the opportunity to speak with a clinical staff member in order to have any questions answered, and you will sign a consent form. In the procedure room, you will lie on the treatment table, and the area on your body to undergo the treatment will be sterilized. Your doctor may or may not use an ultrasound machine to visualize the needle. The needle will be inserted into the trigger point, and medication will be injected directly into it.
The entire procedure usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. When it is finished, the needle is removed and the site is covered by a sterile bandage. You will be provided with discharge instructions. You will need to have a responsible adult with you to drive you home.
Recovery and Benefits
Recovery after the procedure
You may call Louisiana Pain Specialists if you have any concerns during your recovery from the procedure. It is normal to have some discomfort at the injection site, and this should resolve within 24 hours. You may use pain medicines, ice, and rest to reduce your pain.
Some individuals will get immediate, long term relief from a trigger point injection, especially for trigger points caused by repetitive injuries by movements that will no longer be performed. Trigger point injections for conditions such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome may provide temporary relief, and can be repeated on a regular or as needed basis.