Trigger Point Injections
What Eexactly if Trigger Point?
Trigger points are tender & the painful areas in one or group of muscles. These are felt as “little knots” in the muscles. These trigger points can be palpated under the skin & cause pain on pressing or stressing that area.
Which are the Common Sites for Trigger Points?
The most common sites for trigger points are the neck, back of head and shoulders, (but can occur anywhere in the body). Trigger points in these areas can cause headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain and can be aggravated by stress or anxiety. Trigger points in the lower back may cause nerve irritation resulting in back pain, or pain into buttocks or legs.
How Does These Trigger Points Cause Pain?
When the muscle tightens, the blood flow to the muscle decreases. as a result, there is lack of oxygen to that muscle which leads to further muscle tightening and this cycle goes on., resulting in further increase in your pain.
Typically, these points are extremely sensitive even to mild pressure. they cause pain not only at that site, but also in various other areas of the body (referred pain).
Who are the Candidates Eeligible for Trigger Point Injection?
It is more common in women and people with less active lifestyles.
Candidates with the following can be treated with trigger point injection:
- Muscle spasms
- Myofascial pain syndrome – chronic pain in tissues surrounding muscles
- Tension headaches
- Prolonged Immobilization of a joint or a muscle group
- Poor sitting ergonomics at work place
What is Trigger Point Injection?
Trigger Point Injection is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points (knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax)
How is it Performed?
Tender knots (trigger points) will be marked with a pen as there may be many trigger points causing pain. Once identified, the skin over the target area will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The trigger points are then stabilized between 2 fingers & appropriate solution of medication is injected (using ultrasound). Multiple injections can be performed at one time. Once the needles are removed, a band aid will be placed over injection site. No further care is required.
What to Expect After Procedure?
Many patients will feel immediate pain relief and improved function immediately. Some patients may not have relief for 3-5 days. The pain relief can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The injections can be repeated as & when the pain recurs.