Trigger Point Injections
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A trigger point injection can effectively relieve the pain of fibromyalgia, tension headaches and myofascial pain.
A trigger point injection involves injecting a pain relieving medication directly into the trigger point area. In the upper back and shoulder area, the back muscles known as the trapezius and rhomboid, are a common site of trigger points. Pain in these areas manifests as headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain. Trigger points also occur in the lower back, and, occasionally, in the legs and arms. Sometimes a noticeable “knot” can be felt at the site of the trigger point, and the area will be tender. In many cases, if the knot is firmly pushed on, the pain will radiate outward from the trigger point. Trigger points are found in musculoskeletal disorders, such as pain in the lower back, neck pain, and fibromyalgia, as well as with tension headaches and temporomandibular pain.
Trigger Point Injection Procedure
Peripheral nerve pain can be debilitating, but may respond to trigger point injections which contain anesthetic to numb the pain. Sometimes the anesthetic (Lidocaine, Xylocaine or bupivacaine) is mixed with a corticosteroid medication to reduce the level of inflammation in the area. Normally, you will lie on your stomach on an exam table in your healthcare professional’s office. The trigger point will be located, marked and cleaned with alcohol or betadine. A numbing spray may be used to make the injection less painful. The healthcare provider will then insert the needle into the trigger point, injecting the medication. If the area of injection is stiff and/or sore following the injection, you may try ice, then heat, as well as an over-the-counter NSAID medication like Advil or naproxen sodium.
Potential Complications from Trigger Point Injections
The number one side effect related to trigger point injections is post-injection pain, which generally resolves itself within a few days. When a corticosteroid is injected into the trigger point, some patients will see a shrinkage of the fat under the skin in the injection area, leaving a “dent” in the skin. Other side effects which are rare, but are present anytime a needle punctures the skin, are infection and bleeding. Some patients experience pain relief after only one trigger point injection, while others—particularly those with myofascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia—tend to require trigger point injections on a more regular basis.
If you believe trigger point injections could potentially diminish the pain you are experiencing, speak to a knowledgeable Seattle Pain interventional pain management specialist about your pain. At Seattle Pain our goal is to help you avoid surgery whenever possible. To that end we will combine traditional and non-traditional treatments to relieve you of your pain.
Are you suffering from severe and chronic neck pain or fibromyalgia pain?
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At Seattle Pain, our primary goal is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. We believe in treating the whole patient – and not just the injury. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today.