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Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are a common treatment for individuals experiencing chronic muscle pain and tightness. This procedure involves one of our specialists administering a local anesthetic or corticosteroid directly into trigger points—small, localized areas of muscle spasm or tension.

By targeting these specific points, we aim to alleviate pain and improve the range of motion for patients suffering from a range of chronic pain conditions.

What are Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections, also known as TPI injections, are a common treatment for musculoskeletal pain. During a trigger point injection, our pain treatment specialist will insert a needle into the trigger point and inject a combination of numbing medication (such as lidocaine) and anti-inflammatory medication (such as corticosteroids). This helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the affected muscle.

Trigger point injections are typically performed in an outpatient setting and can provide rapid relief from muscle pain. The procedure is relatively quick and minimally invasive, with most patients experiencing little discomfort during the injection.

It’s important to note that TPI are typically just one component of a comprehensive treatment plan for muscle pain. Physical therapy, stretching exercises, massage therapy, and other non-surgical interventions may also be recommended to address underlying issues contributing to the development of trigger points.

What are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are small, painful knots that can form in muscles due to overuse, injury, or stress. They typically cause localized pain in their specific area as well as referred pain in other areas of the body.

Conditions Treated with Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are commonly used to treat a variety of conditions that involve muscle pain and tightness. Some of the conditions treated with trigger point injections include:

  • Chronic Back Pain: Trigger point injections can be used to target specific trigger points in the back muscles, providing relief from chronic back pain caused by muscle tension or spasms.
  • Neck Pain and Shoulder Pain: Localized discomfort in the neck and shoulder muscles can cause stiffness and limited range of motion. Trigger point injections in the neck or shoulders can target these specific areas to provide relief.
  • Chronic Pain Conditions: Individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, back pain, and sciatica may benefit from trigger point injections to help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
  • Sports Injuries: Trigger point injections are often used in sports medicine to treat muscle injuries, such as strains or sprains, by targeting trigger points that contribute to pain and limited mobility.
  • Muscle Spasms: Trigger point injections can help relieve muscle spasms, which are involuntary muscle contractions that can cause pain and restricted movement.
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome: This condition is characterized by chronic muscle pain and stiffness in specific areas known as trigger points. A myofascial trigger point injection can target this area to alleviate pain and improve muscle function.
  • Fibromyalgia: Trigger point injections may be used as part of the treatment plan for fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tender points in the body.
  • Tension Headaches: Trigger point injections can be effective in reducing muscle tension and pain associated with tension headaches, which are commonly caused by stress or muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders.
  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorders: Trigger point injections can help treat TMJ by targeting trigger points in the jaw muscles, reducing pain, and improving jaw function.

Trigger Point Injection Overview

Trigger points are small, painful knots that form in muscles when they become tight and contracted. These points can cause localized pain as well as referred pain to other areas of the body.

During a TPI injection, your doctor will use a small needle to inject a mixture of anesthetic and sometimes corticosteroid directly into the spot of the trigger. This helps to relax the muscle, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.

Trigger injections are minimally invasive and provide an effective way to manage muscle pain and improve function. They provide fast, targeted relief for conditions such as tension headaches, fibromyalgia, and sports injuries. They are beneficial for acute muscle spasms or to help manage chronic pain. The procedure is typically done in an outpatient setting and takes only a few minutes. Some patients may experience temporary soreness at the injection site, but this usually resolves quickly. If you’re experiencing persistent muscle tension or pain, schedule a consultation to learn whether TPI therapy may be right for you.

Recovery and Side Effects from Trigger Point Injections

Following your TPI treatment you can immediately start to actively use the affected muscle. However, it’s important to avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting for at least 24-48 hours to allow the muscles time to heal and reduce the risk of aggravating the injection site.

We may advise gentle stretching exercises to help promote healing and prevent further muscle tension.

In some cases, multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve optimal results, so it’s important to maintain your regular follow-up appointments so that we can monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Trigger point injections are safe with minimal risks. The main side effect is temporary discomfort or numbness near the injection site which can normally be managed with over-the-counter medication. Using an ice pack can also help prevent bruising at the injection site.

For various musculoskeletal conditions that involve pain, tightness, and dysfunction, trigger point injections can be a valuable treatment option. Schedule an appointment today to receive personalized treatment recommendations for managing your pain from one of our specialists at clinics throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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