A Trigger Point Injection is a minimally invasive procedure in which back and muscular pain is treated by injecting anesthetics into trigger points. Trigger points are small knots that form in the fascia tissue and cause myofascial pain.
Approximately 10% of Americans suffer from some type of musculoskeletal pain such as fibromyalgia. Musculoskeletal disorders are the primary cause of disability in the working aged population and are the leading cause of disability in the elderly. Trigger Point Injections are designed to relieve people from this musculoskeletal pain.
What are the expectations when a patient gets Trigger Point Injections?
If a patient receives a Trigger Point Injections (TPI) they have a reasonable expectation to find relief from their pain. The level of relief is dependent upon the severity of their condition and how well they respond to the medications used.
How is a Trigger Point Injection procedure performed?
The patient is placed in a reclining position that is suitable to reach the area to be injected. The area to be injected is cleaned with an antiseptic and then the needle is inserted into the trigger point. A mixture of anesthetic medications usually with a corticosteroid is then injected directly into the trigger point. Sometimes a needle is inserted without medication; this type of trigger point injection is referred to dry needling. Often the patient will feel slight pain and discomfort during the injection itself but then will feel relief afterwards. Multiple trigger points may be injected during one visit.
How long can the benefits of TPIs last?
Success of the Trigger Point Injections cannot be anticipated, however most patients that receive the procedure do find relief from their chronic pain.
Relief can be almost instant I some cases and the duration of the relief can last for days, weeks, or even months, depending on how well the patient responds to the treatment.
What risk or side effects are possible with Trigger Point Injections?
Risks and side effects are low. The most common side effects are bruising and bleeding from the injection site. Rarely an injection site may become infected. Post injection pain may occur but is rare. This may last for a few days after the procedure (Role of greater occipital nerve blocks and trigger point injections for patients with dizziness and headache 2012). If corticosteroids are used they may deteriorate the adipose tissue under the skin and eventually leave a slight depression in the skin.
How successful are Trigger Point Injections (TPIs) as a treatment for the relief of pain?
Most people that receive Trigger Point Injections successfully find relief from their chronic pain associated with the trigger points. The level and duration of this relief however, varies from patient to patient. Some may experience relief for weeks or even months after one treatment. Others may find it necessary to receive multiple treatments to find relief of any duration. Almost all patients receiving Trigger Point Injections do experience some level of relief.
What is the bottom line with Trigger Point Injections?
The bottom line is if you suffer from chronic musculoskeletal pain trigger point injections may be the best solution. Discuss your symptoms with your pain management specialist in Colorado to see if you are a candidate for trigger point injections.