Trigger point injections are an outpatient procedure performed by the doctor and entail injecting numbing medicine into areas of the body that have localized pain, called trigger points. Trigger points are areas of muscle spasm and inflammation. They can be anywhere in the body but are most common in the upper back, shoulder area, and neck region. Sometimes, there is a hard area or nodule that can be felt by the doctor. Pushing on the trigger point can elicit pain both on the nodule and on the surrounding area.
Trigger points are seen with fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, headaches, upper and lower back pain, jaw pain (TMJ). Accidental trauma, surgical injury, and repetitive injury from overuse are common causes. Nerves that supply the extremities and other organs can be injured and lead to peripheral nerve pain. Pain in between the ribs, inguinal (groin) areas, femoral (leg) nerves and nodules on nerves that supply the fingers are all types of peripheral nerve pain. Any nerve that gets damaged from trauma or disease is subject to painful trigger points that can be relieved temporarily by trigger point injections.
Everyone is different in response times, but the relief should start within a half-hour or so and last for about three hours. If steroids are given at the same time, then the relief can last a month. The primary benefit of trigger point injections is so that physical rehabilitation can be performed without pain. If you are having problems with pain that is deep in the muscle, schedule a consultation with us to see what your options are.