Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injection (TPI) may be an option in relieving pain for some patients. TPI is a procedure used to treat areas of muscle that contain painful trigger points, or knots of muscle. In some cases, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause pain that is felt in another part of the body.
What Happens During Trigger Point Injection?
In the TPI procedure, your physician will insert a small needle into the your painful trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic that sometimes includes a corticosteroid. The injection is used to make the trigger point inactive and therefore your pain is alleviated. Treatment course usually is only for a short period and will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in on site in your doctor's office and usually take just a few minutes. Several areas can be injected and treated in one visit. If you have an allergy to a certain medication, a dry-needle technique can be used. Dry needle techniques are when a needle is used to apply pressure to the trigger point and disipate the pain without the use of medication.
When Is Trigger Point Injection Used?
TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, including but not limited too those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches. TPI also is used to reduce myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that has not responded to other treatments.