What is a Trigger Point Injection?
Trigger point injections are the most common procedures we perform for pain in children and young adults.
What is a trigger point injection?
A trigger point is a “knot” in a tight band of muscle that can be very painful and limit the motion of muscle in which it is found. Trigger point injection is an injection of medication into a tight bundle of muscles called trigger points. The physician is able to find these painful muscles during an exam.
Why do we do trigger point injections?
In some cases, muscle tightness continues and does not respond to usual treatments such as ice / heat, physical therapy or muscle relaxants. To help relax the muscle, we inject either a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) or a combination of a local anesthetic medication and a steroid medication.
What happens the day of the trigger point injection?
- The procedure is usually done in the office.
- The physician locates the trigger points with the help of the patient.
- The skin over the injections site will be cleaned with chlorhexidine or alcohol, and a small needle will be inserted into the trigger points.
- We usually inject up to four trigger points in a session. We will perform up to 10, but they can be painful, so we limit the number for comfort.
It is very important that you tell the physician when the needle contacts the painful area, as this is where they will inject the medicine. The discomfort will be very temporary.
What are the complications of a trigger point injection?
There are several possible complications; however, the risk is extremely rare. These include, but are not limited to, mild skin irritation, mild bleeding, and infection or injury to underlying tissues.
What to expect after the trigger point injection?
You may find that the pain gets worse initially. The doctor may order a small amount of pain medication for the first two days until the injection medication begins to work. This occurs because placing a needle into an irritated muscle causes more irritation. People often report increased mobility of the muscle right away, which is a positive sign. The pain should begin to decrease about two days after injection. About three days after the injection, we ask you to call our office or send us a note in MyChart to let us know how you or your child are doing. You can also call us with questions or concerns at 513-636-7768. You or your child can return to normal activities the following day.
When to call the doctor
Call the doctor if you notice fever and redness at the site of injection.