What Are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections may be an option for treating pain in some patients. Trigger point injections are a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. Many times, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body.
What Happens During a Trigger Point Injection?
In this procedure, a health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient’s trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic or saline, and may include other substances such as homeopathic remedies, corticosteroids or ozone. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in the office and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit.
When Is Trigger Point Injection Used?
Trigger point injections are used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, they can be used to treat tension headaches and fibromyalgia and myofascial pain that does not respond to other treatments. However, the effectiveness of trigger point injections for treating myofascial pain is still under study.