What is a Trigger Point?
Trigger Points are painful areas of muscle that are tender and may feel like tight bands or knots when pressed. Pressing on the Trigger Point will “trigger” pain at the area of pressure and often in other areas. For example, pressing on a trigger point at the top of the shoulder may send pain down the arm or up into the neck.
Trigger Points are overactive muscle areas that can come from stress, using the muscle too much, or problems with your spine or posture. They are most often treated by improved posture, reduced stress, and exercise. Sometimes, these treatments will not correct a painful trigger point, and your health care provider may want to treat the problem with a trigger point injection.
How are Trigger Points Injected?
When doing this treatment, your provider will mark the skin over the point, clean the skin and insert a fine needle through the skin into the trigger point area that may cause a small “twitch”. You may be able to feel this twitch. It tells us that the trigger point has been reached.
Your provider will move the needle gently in and out of the trigger point area changing direction many times to make sure it is all treated. The provider will then massage the area afterwards and place a Band-Aid over the injected area.
Most Trigger Point Treatments take 15 seconds or less for each area.
What are the risks of Trigger Point Injections?
The risk of infection is very small, as is the risk of bleeding after the injection. Most patients do not experience any side effects at all. However a small percentage may feel a pinpoint area of muscle soreness the day after the injection for a very short period of time. You should stretch the muscle, use ice or a cold pack or you can take medication to treat this soreness. Ask your provider what you can use.
How will you feel afterwards?
You might feel relief right away or the relief might take up to 3-4 days after the Trigger Point Treatment. Within 1-2 days, soreness should fade, but the trigger point relief should last. There should be less pain than before treatment. While these treatments do not always work, most patients get relief for days, weeks and sometimes months.
What else should I do after the Injection?
When you are pain free, use the time to stretch the treated muscle, perform your exercise program, and take other steps that will keep the trigger points from coming back.
What about injecting other medications?
The selection of medication to be used for your trigger point treatment will be decided by your provider and you will be informed of any and all medications being injected beforehand. The medications we use at Root Medical are natural anti-inflammatory, plant based and chemical free.