What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a knot or tight band of muscle. It is felt under the skin and may be painful when touched. Trigger points can irritate nerves and cause pain. Scar tissue, loss of movement and weakness may develop over time.
What is a Trigger Point Injection (TPI)?
TPI is the insertion of a needle to trigger points and fascia (the membrane that envelops muscles). Trigger Point Injections have been proven to be an effective method of releasing Trigger Points, and reducing pain. At CHANGEpain, we usually inject 0.9% saline, which has the same concentration as your blood. The saline helps the muscle contract and relax.
We use saline rather than other medications such as lidocaine or steroids to reduce possible side effects. There is evidence that saline injections have effective outcomes in pain reduction.
What can I expect during a Trigger Point Injection?
Your doctor will physically examine you and ask you where you pain is. The doctor will insert a needle into the points he or she identifies as causing the pain problem. Often the needling site is not where pain is felt. For example, low back pain often comes from trigger points in the abdomen rather than the back. The body is all connected!
After TPI, we expect that your trigger points and fascia will relax and your pain will decrease.
Is TPI appropriate for me?
Trigger point injections may not be appropriate if:
- You have an infection
- You are on blood thinners
- You are pregnant
The doctor will tell you if it is safe for you to be treated.