Are Trigger Point Injections Right for My Chronic Pain?
October 17, 2018
If you can’t find relief from your chronic pain (including alternative methods like meditation), you might find relief with a trigger point injection (TPI). TPI is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that has trigger points, or areas where the muscle does not relax (which can often be felt as knots under the skin).
Trigger points can aggravate the surrounding nerves and cause referred pain or pain felt in a different part of the body. However, trigger point injections can relieve pain, often within minutes of injection.
Trying Trigger Point Injections
During a TPI, a pain specialist inserts a needle into the patient’s trigger point, injecting either a local analgesic or saline, and sometimes a corticosteroid (pain reliever).
Once injected, the trigger point is made inactive, and pain is alleviated immediately. The short treatment often leads to sustained relief. Additionally, several trigger point sites may be targeted in one visit.
Injections are performed in a doctor’s office and completed within a few minutes. TPIs can also be performed for relief from fibromyalgia, tension headaches and myofascial pain. However, trigger points that are caused by fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome may require follow-up visits.
Are There Risks?
Risk factors for TPIs are very low. Most commonly, patients will experience bleeding at the injection site, but this will go away quickly. Some patients may have slight numbness or soreness at the injection site, which is normal and will dissipate over time. Ice, heat or an over-the-counter pain medication (such as Tylenol) can be used to manage pain.
How is a Trigger Point Injection Performed?
You will sit or lie down for the procedure. Your healthcare professional will locate the trigger point site, and inject a mixture of an analgesic and steroid to the site. The procedure can done on different trigger points in one visit and only takes a few minutes.
Who is a Trigger Point Injection Right For?
If you’ve tried pain management, including medication and physical therapy, and haven’t found relief from your chronic pain, a TPI might be right for you.
With any pain management option, it’s wise to speak with your healthcare professional to learn about the procedure and how it will affect you. Although trigger point injections can be a good fit for most cases, it’s important to understand the risks involved, especially if you have a history of chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome.
Your healthcare professional will be able to address your concerns and offer the best pain management solution that fits your unique needs.
Southside Pain Specialists is your one-stop for pain management with a multitude of pain relief options tailored to your specific needs. Southside Pain Specialists follows the standards of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, The American Board of Pain Medicine and the International Spinal Injection Society and works hard to provide patients comprehensive, caring pain relief when they need it most. Check out our website or contact us today at 205.332.3155 to learn more.