WHAT ARE TRIGGER POINTS AND TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS?
Trigger points are knots of muscle that form under the skin when a muscle or groups of muscles do not relax. Trigger point injections are used to stop that pain.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF IRRITATED TRIGGER POINTS?
Trigger point pain can be localized, such as in a specific area in the neck or back. However, constricted muscles at the trigger point can often also cause referred pain (irritation to the nerves around them). Many people experience migraine headaches as the result of trigger point pain.
COURSE OF TREATMENT
A trigger point injection is used to eliminate the pain. The injection is performed by a licensed medical practitioner and involves the injection of a local anesthetic and possibly a corticosteroid. The injection takes just a few minutes and several trigger point sites may be injected if necessary.
DOES IT HURT? WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE INJECTION?
The skin is numbed prior to injection, so there is very minimal pain. After the injection, a simple adhesive bandage may be applied. If there is any tenderness or soreness from the injection, ice and heat may be applied. Patients should rest the affected area for one to two days following the injection. Most patients are free from their original pain neck or back pain within a few hours and return to work the same day or the next day. Trigger point injections are often able to alleviate pain from a few days to many months.