Trigger points are specific places on the body where muscle fibers become tight due to stress or injury. They are tender points in your muscles that can knot up and cause pain and muscle weakness.
Typically these trigger points will be sensitive or tender to the touch or when pressure is placed upon them, and the tenderness or pain can even extend outward a certain distance from the trigger point. Sometimes pressure on the trigger point will elicit a muscle twitch in the related muscle fibers.
Trigger point injections have been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for inactivating trigger points and providing patients with pain relief. They can improve the blood flow to your muscles and break the cycle of pain you experience.
Usually, before the procedure, a patient will be asked to stop taking any medications that have blood-thinning effects; this is to prevent excessive bleeding at the injection site.
For this treatment, you sit or lie down. The patient will be asked to sit or lie in a comfortable position to relax the muscles.
Your doctor will press on your muscles to find the exact site. The injection area will be cleaned. Using a targeted approach, the doctor will insert the needle into the trigger point and release an anesthetic to alleviate pain. At the moment of injection, the patient may experience a sensation of pressure, a temporary sharp pain as the needle penetrates the tight muscle fibers or muscle twitching.
Often it will be necessary to administer a few injections in the same area during the same treatment to ensure all the tender areas have been relieved. Overall, the treatment lasts only a few minutes, and recovery time is typically very short.