What are Trigger Point Injection?
Trigger point injections are a common procedure performed in clinical practice. Here we discuss this procedure in a bit more detail. Muscle tightening, or knot formation, can occur due to constant stress. These knots, which are easily felt and painful when touched, are called trigger points.
A trigger point injection is a procedure that is performed to loosen these tightened muscles and to reduce pain. It usually involves injecting the site with a local anesthetic agent to help numb the pain. Sometimes, the local anesthetic agent may be injected along with a steroid injection to help reduce the inflammation. The entire procedure is completed within a few minutes.
Who needs Trigger Point Injection?
Sometimes, muscle tightening can occur due to excessive activity and stress. Certain conditions such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain can also be treated using trigger point injections.
What are the steps in Trigger Point Injection?
Preparing for the Injection
Once the areas where the trigger point injections need to be administered have been identified, the skin of these areas is cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
Administering the Injection
The injection, containing either local anesthetic or a combination of a local anesthetic with a steroid, is then administered into the muscle.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require admission to a hospital. Following the completion of the procedure, the area of injection will be covered with a bandage, and the patient will be observed for a short period of time. If all is well, the patient is discharged home.
Since the procedure is fairly straightforward and simple, the risks and side effects are only very few and are rare. A mild amount of pain at the site of injection and occasional bruising may be seen. Patients who are injected with steroids may have altered blood sugar levels and changes in weight if they receive multiple injections throughout the year.
Trigger point injections do provide significant relief from pain due to muscle tightening. However, it must be kept in mind that while these injections reduce pain, they are not a cure. Once the procedure is complete and the patient is discharged home, they are often reviewed in clinic or in the outpatients department after 4 or more weeks.