A trigger point is a tight band of muscle, or a “knot” that can occur when a muscle struggles to relax. Normal muscles should contract and relax, but when a muscle is unable to relax it can irritate the surrounding nerves and become extremely painful in many areas of your back and extremities. Trigger points can cause referred pain in other areas of the body, a decrease in range of motion or weakness. Sometimes, the trigger point, or knot, may twitch involuntarily when touched, which is called a jump sign. A trigger point injection (TPI) can be used to alleviate chronic pain of surrounding tissue, known as myofascial pain syndrome, in areas such as the neck, lower back, arms and legs, and is also used to treat tension headaches and fibromyalgia.
Northstar Integrated Health specializes treating patients using trigger point injections in order to alleviate pain. Most patients usually experience sustained pain relief following a brief course of treatment. Sometimes more than one injection is needed. TPI is primarily performed after pain does not respond to other forms of treatment, in conjunction with other therapies to help facilitate quicker recovery, or even by itself. The procedure is relatively safe and effective.
About Trigger Point Injection (TPI):
Trigger point injections are utilized to alleviate pain that results when trigger points irritate surrounding tissue and muscle. Your health care practitioner injects a medication into soft tissue in localized areas where a patient is experiencing pain and tenderness in order to inactivate the trigger point. Sometimes more than one injection is given in a single visit and multiple injections may be needed in order to maintain sustained pain relief. The procedure is quick and causes only minor discomfort at the injection site.
HowTPI is done:
TPI is performed in our modern facility at Northstar Integrated Health by a trained health care practitioner. After cleansing the site of the injection with a sterile solution, a local anesthetic is injected into the area where the tenderness exists. Once the area is numb, a medication is injected which inactivates the trigger point. The procedure usually takes about 5 – 10 minutes, but can be longer if multiple injections are required. The area of the injection may be slightly sore for 24 – 48 hours following the procedure, but patients can resume regular activities immediately and ice usually helps to alleviate some of the soreness at the injection site. Our facility uses very thin gauge needles for patient comfort. We find that by doing so, the injection stings less and is much more tolerable than when performed with thicker sized needles. Light stretching and / or manual therapy is often performed immediately after, and is oftentimes recommended following the procedure.