Trigger Point Injection
A trigger point injection procedure is administered to reduce or relieve pain from trigger points.
Trigger points are tender areas within skeletal muscle that may result from an abnormality of the muscle or occur when nerves that supply muscles become irritated.
Conditions where pain is thought to be due primarily to a muscular abnormality include fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome. Conditions where muscular trigger points are a secondary phenomenon include intervertebral disc herniation with spinal nerve root irritation. With disc herniation, trigger points occur because irritated nerve roots in the spinal column continually stimulate associated muscles, causing them to contract and spasm.
Painful Skeletal Muscle
Whatever their cause, trigger points are associated with pain and tenderness in skeletal muscle and can be identified on physical examination as palpable, tender bands (or cords) of muscular tissue. Pain from trigger points may be mild or severe. Although most trigger points resolve with conservative measures such as heat, massage or myofascial release therapy, some trigger points are persistently painful and disabling
Treatment of Severe Trigger Point Pain
When trigger point pain is severe and unresponsive to conservative measures, a trigger point injection treatment with local anesthetic — with or without added steroid — may be helpful. Trigger points may be injected with tiny needles of placed through the skin and into the substance of the muscle.
Risk is minimal and discomfort upon trigger point injections can be minimized with sedation, if necessary. Five to ten trigger points may be injected in one treatment session, and sessions are typically repeated at regular intervals and coordinated with physical therapy.
Some patients experience long-lasting pain relief from a single session of trigger point injections, while for others, trigger point pain is a recurrent, intermittent problem that may be managed with occasional injections and a combination of conservative therapies.