Trigger Point Injection
If you have “knots” in your muscles, or extremely painful and tight muscles that fail to relax, a trigger point injection may be right for you. This injection is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back and neck. A trigger point injection can also be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches.
A short course of treatment with trigger point injections may produce long-term pain relief. In addition, alleviating pain via the injection can allow you to perform stretching exercises and physical therapy that will help increase blood flow into the area and relax the muscle.
What to Expect
- We will contact you prior to your appointment to review your current medications, your medical history, and potential risks. We will also answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
- Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- Contact your doctor before you stop taking any medication.
- On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early to check in.
- Please arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
- Although complications are rare, we will review possible side effects and risks with you prior to your exam so you can ask questions and decide if this exam is right for you.
- When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and given a pair of scrubs to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
- You will lie on an exam table and the skin in the targeted area will be cleaned.
- Using imaging for guidance, the radiologist with expertise in performing injection procedures will insert a thin needle into the problem area.
- Through the needle, a combination of anti-inflammatory (steroid) and anesthetic (numbing) medications will be given to decrease inflammation and relieve the pain.
- If multiple pain sites, several injections may be required.
- When your procedure is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
- You may experience numbness and/or relief from your symptoms after the injection.
- The beneficial effects of the steroids usually require two to three days to take hold, but may take as long as five to seven days. Your usual symptoms may return and possibly be worse than usual for a day or two. Every patient is different and your results may vary.
- If there is no change in your symptoms after a week, your doctor may want to investigate other possible sources for your pain.
- You may be asked to keep track of how long relief lasts and report it to your physician; this information is useful when considering next steps.