Trigger Point Injection

What is a trigger point injection?

A trigger point injection introduces small amounts of anesthetic and steroid into painful “knots” in your muscles. These trigger points are focal, hyper-irritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. The spots are painful on compression and can produce referred pain, tenderness, and muscle weakness. Trigger point injections can help soothe muscle pain, especially in your arms, legs, lower back and neck.

How is a trigger point injection done?

You will sit or lie down for the procedure in the doctor’s exam room. Your doctor will press on your muscle to locate the area where you have pain. Then, he or she will insert a small needle into the area and inject a mixture of anesthetic and steroid. Ultrasound guidance may be used during the procedure. You can have several trigger points injected during one visit to your doctor’s office. The procedure only takes a few minutes.

What are the risks?

The risk of complication from a trigger point injection is very low. Complications such as bleeding and infection at the injection site are uncommon. However, you may have temporary soreness or numbness at the injection site. The other risks of these injections may be directly related to the medications injected. Some of the potential side effects of steroids include elevated blood sugars, weight gain, arthritis, stomach ulcers, loss of skin pigment at chronic injection site, temporary suppression of the body’s own production of cortisone, and temporary decrease in immune system function. Patients should speak with their physician about risk assessment for the procedure in their individual situation.

Who should not have a transforaminal injection?

Patients who have an allergy to any anesthetic, are on blood thinning medications, are diabetic, have an active infection, or are pregnant should consult with the pain physician before receiving the procedure. There may be special instructions or lab testing or the procedure might need to be rescheduled.

What happens afterwards?

After a trigger point injection, you can actively use your muscle. However, you should avoid strenuous activity for the first few days. Most patients are advised to take it easy for a day or so after the procedure until the medication has a chance to work. However, most patients can perform any activity that they could perform before the procedure.

You should be able to go back to work the same day unless the procedure was extensive or complicated.

Is trigger point injection right for you?

Trigger point injection may be right for you if your muscle pain has not improved with other treatment, including pain medication and physical therapy. Contact us to find out more!

At PrairieShore™ Pain Center, our goal is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. If your primary physician has advised you to see a specialist for your pain, turn to us for help. To schedule your appointment, please contact us here or give us a call at (847) 883-0077.