What is a Trigger Point Injection?
Trigger point injections consists of placing a needle into an area of muscular spasm that is causing pain as a result of that muscle’s spasm. Typically, trigger points can be identified by pressing upon the area with a finger “triggering” the pain that the patient is reporting. Once the needle is placed, injection of a variety of medications can be made, including but not limited to local numbing medicines, steroids or Botox™. This may help decrease your pain and make movement easier. Hopefully, you will then be able to exercise the muscle to help it strengthen and heal. Sometimes it is necessary to inject these areas several times. Generally, many patients with pain such as yours have a marked reduction or elimination of their pain following one or more of these injections. Some patients who have a reduction, but not elimination of their pain may benefit from further injections after about 5 to 14 days. Some people, however, may not receive any benefit from an injection such as this.
What can you expect during the procedure?
Some trigger point injections are performed in the office. If your doctor determines your injection will be performed in the hospital, the nurses at the Pain Clinic may place an intravenous needle in your arm. This will allow the doctor to give you a medicine to help you relax and decrease any pain you may experience during the procedure. Fluoroscopy (X-Ray) and a nerve stimulator may be used to help guide the needle to the correct position. This procedure is performed under sterile conditions.
What can you expect after the procedure?
You will be discharged home 30 minutes after the procedure. . If sedated during your procedure, you will need someone to drive you home, as you may be drowsy from the medications. Further, you are restricted from driving any automobile or motorized/mechanized vehicle that day or from operating heavy machinery/equipment of any type that day. The injection sites may be sore for 1-2 days. This discomfort can be relieved with medication such as Advil or Tylenol, and/or by applying heat or ice to the treatment area.