Trigger Point Injections
What Are Trigger Points?
A trigger points are commonly defined areas of taut muscle bands or palpable knots in the muscle, which are painful. Often, these trigger points can cause localized pain or even referred pain to other areas of your body, which can mimic conditions such as a pinch nerve in your neck or back. They can occur from direct muscle injuries, poor posture, repetitive strain, or secondarily from spine conditions such as a herniated disc. Although most of the time they respond to conservative measures such as massage, muscle relaxants and physical therapy, sometimes trigger point injections are required.
What Are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections are specific types of local muscle injections use to treat the painful taut bands responsible for pain and spasm. Common medications use in trigger point injections is local anesthetics, saline, glucose and small doses of steroids. Also a technique known as dry needling has shown significant improvement without injecting a medication, just inserting the needle in the muscle. The purpose of the injection is not only to decrease pain, but also to improve function and break the pain cycle.
The injection is performed in the examination room or the procedure suite (if you are having a different procedure). You will be examined and the trigger points will be identified and marked. The skin area will be sterilized with alcohol and numb with a local anesthetic. A small needle is then inserted into the specific site and a specific volume of the medication is injected. The procedure is repeated in the remaining trigger points. Trigger point injections are sometimes repeated, depending on the results and degree of improvement.
After the Procedure
Ice will be applied to the involve area and you will be observed for approximately 15 minutes. Afterwards, you will be discharged and given instructions about the post procedure care.
General Pre and Post Procedure Instructions.
The day of the procedure you should eat and drink routinely. Take your routine medications (blood pressure, diabetes, etc) as prescribed by your doctor. There may be certain medications (blood thinners such as Plavix, Coumadin, others) that, at the discretion of your physician, may have to be discontinue for several days prior to the procedure.
At home continue usual medication and therapeutic exercises as prescribe. During the first 24 hours, apply a cold compress to the injected area for 20 minutes, three times a day. Some soreness and localized swelling is expected. Occasional, a small bruise may develop. If severe pain, swelling and bleeding develop, contact our office as soon as possible.