What are Trigger Point Injections?
You’re constantly massaging your shoulders, have tried pain relievers for days on end and have tried every relief cream out there. An old injury that continues to give you pain, a knot in your back or a recent trauma, your trigger point can manifest in many different ways.
Your muscles contract and relax when you move. If a muscle does not relax completely, a very tight band of muscle fibers can spasm and form a trigger point. A trigger point is a small area within a muscle that is very sensitive to pressure and touch and is extremely painful. Injury, overexertion, muscle tension, and muscle spasms commonly cause trigger points. They occur most frequently in the neck, back, and shoulders.
A trigger point can bring on severe pain. It may feel tender and very hard and even twitch when you touch it. In some instances, a trigger point can irritate the surrounding nerves, causing pain to spread to other areas nearby (referred pain). Your pain can limit mobility so you cannot move comfortably.
Trigger point injections are shots that relax the muscle and relieve pain by placing medications in the trigger point. Trigger point injections are the gold standard for inactivating a trigger point and delivering fast relief. During a trigger point injection, you doctor will insert a needle directly into your trigger point and inject medication. This contains anesthetic to relax the area and relieve pain, and sometimes a corticosteroid is added. After the shots, the affected area is almost immediately free of pain.
Who are the best candidates for TPIs? Those affected by severe muscle spasms or those that have experienced past trauma in affected areas. Those that have a past experience of getting tension headaches from tight muscles around the neck and shoulders, are also considered good candidates for trigger point injections, as well.
These injections are most commonly administered by a pain management doctor or a physiatrist. When you visit your doctor, they will examine the muscle area carefully and attempt to find the trigger point(s). The muscle may be gently pressed to identify areas of pain.
Once the trigger points are identified a topical anesthetic will be administered to numb the area. To deliver the trigger point injection, your doctor will insert a small needle into the trigger point and inject the medication. The procedure only takes a few minutes.
Have you been experiencing chronic or long-standing pain that needs medical attention or pain management expertise? If you think you would be a good candidate for trigger point injections, contact Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers. Call us at (302) 730-8848 or request an appointment online to discuss whether TPIs are an option for you.