Trigger point injections is a procedure used to relieve pain from trigger points. Trigger points are tight bands of muscle that cause pain when they are pushed on. They may feel like small knots in the muscle. The pain may be relieved by injecting these trigger points with a local anesthetic. This procedure is routinely done in the clinic.
How Does it Work?
A local anesthetic medication (like Novocaine) is injected into the palpated trigger point. The local anesthetic will numb the area and provide relief. The trigger point may twitch, then relax, once the anesthetic is injected into the muscle.
How Is It Done?
A needle is inserted into the palpated trigger point, and the anesthetic is injected into the muscle. Patients may feel a burning sensation when the anesthetic is injected, and then the area will get numb. Several trigger points may be injected at a time.
What Are The Risks?
As with any invasive procedure, there are some risks and complications associated with trigger point injections. Anytime a needle is put into the body, there is a risk of infection, bleeding and allergic reaction. The risk of infection is prevented by using sterile techniques. The risk of bleeding is very minimal if patients are not on any blood thinners. There are very few allergic reactions to the medications that are used for the injection. If any allergic reactions are identified, medications will be given and patients will be observed to prevent any serious complications. There is a small risk of a punctured lung, as some trigger points may be in muscles over the lung spaces.
What Can I Expect After?
Most patients feel some immediate pain relief from trigger point injections. Patients may ice the injection site as needed for any pain later in the day.