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Trigger point injections

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Results May vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Below are merely personal stories and do not guarantee success.

What are trigger points?

Trigger points are very irritable areas in muscles which produce a twitch in the affected muscles when pressed. Any inflammation, injury, trauma like factors may develop trigger points. Trigger points can produce pain in the affected muscles and distant area. Common trigger point sites are trapezius and rhomboid muscles. These muscles are located in the shoulder, upper back regions, extremity musculature and lower back.

What are trigger point injections?

When a medication is directly injected into the trigger point to relieve pain is called trigger point injection. Trigger point injection may contain a corticosteroid, mixture of anesthetics or an anesthetic medication. Sometimes dry needling is used to make the trigger point inactive and to reduce pain. Usually, trigger point injections are used to reduce the pain which radiates from trigger point to its surroundings.

What is the procedure for trigger point injection?

The healthcare professional monitors the patient by manual palpation to locate the trigger point and mark the site. The injection site is cleaned with alcohol or betadine. Then a numbness spray is used to make the injection less painful. The medication is inserted through needle inside the trigger point.

How do trigger point injections work?

When an anesthetic medication is injected into the muscle, it blocks the pain receptors; as a result pain signals do not reach the brain and patient feels relief. When a steroid medication is inserted into the muscle, it reduces the swelling and inflammation of tissues present around the nerves and reduces pain. When dry needling is done that means when a needle without medication is inserted into the muscle, it relaxes, lengthens and separates the muscle fibers which help to reduce the pain.

What conditions can be treated by trigger point injections?

Conditions which affect the musculoskeletal system can be treated by trigger point injections including a tension headache, Fibromyalgia, myofascial syndrome, neck pain, shoulder pain and low back pain

What are the side effects of trigger point injections?

Most common side effects are temporary numbness and pain at injection site. Some patient may feel light-headedness. Steroid injections involve repeated dosing which may cause fatty tissue accumulation, hair loss or loss of muscle thickness in the treated area.