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Trigger Point Injections

Dr. Rozier provides premier chiropractic care for his patients at ZEN Interventional Pain & Wellness Center serving Mansfield, TX and Mansfield, TX. By using state of the art methods and techniques, he is able to assist his patients in relieving chronic pain. One of the leading edge services provided at his practice is trigger point injections.

What are trigger point injections?

Trigger point injections describe the process of directly injecting the location where the muscle has become excessively tightened. Muscle fibers that form bundles can become overly tight for a variety of different reasons including injury, poor biomechanics, or a spinal or skeletal abnormal development. The best treatment to help provide relief to trigger points includes trigger point injections using a local anesthetic which may or may not be combined with steroids.

Alternative treatments for muscle pain

Instead of using trigger point injections to treat muscle tightness and pain, other options for treatment include stretching, physical therapy, massage, or an alternative form of chiropractic care. The chiropractor may recommend trigger point injections if the patient is exhibiting signs of neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, or myofascial pain.

Dr. Rozier will provide the comprehensive testing and diagnostic care that is needed to ensure that trigger point injections are the best options for your needs.

Trigger Point Injections Mansfield TX

Trigger points are focal areas of muscle spasm and inflammation in skeletal muscles. 

The upper back and shoulder areas of the body are the most common areas of trigger points. It could also occur in the lower back and less common areas.

Acute trauma or repetitive minor injury could lead to trigger points.

Trigger points could lead to shoulder pain, neck pain, and headache.

A trigger point injection is an effective treatment modality for treating trigger point pain. It is used to treat conditions such as fibromyalgia, myofascial, and tension headache.

The injection contains a local anesthetic such as lidocaine or bupivacaine with corticosteroid. It is injected directly into the trigger point.

The injection makes the trigger point inactive, leading to pain relief.

Before the injection

Before you are given the injection, your doctor will review your medical history. The pain location will be observed. 

If you are on any medications, you should inform your doctor. If you have any allergies or bleeding problems, it is important that you inform your doctor. 

If you are currently taking aspirin, you need to stop taking them for at least three days before the injection to avoid increased bleeding.

How the trigger point injection is given?

You will be placed in a comfortable position to allow for muscle relaxation. Good positioning also helps to prevent injury in case you have vasovagal reactions.

You will be made to lie down on your stomach or a sitting position on an exam table in your doctor’s office. 

Your doctor will then locate the trigger point by manual palpation and mark the sites where you feel pain. Ultrasound guidance may be used in some cases to locate the exact spot.

The skin area for the injection will be cleaned with alcohol or any form of skin cleanser that is commonly used for cleaning injection sites. 

A numbing sprayed or anesthetic is then sprayed or applied to the skin to make the injection less painful and make you feel more comfortable. 

Your doctor will then insert a needle into the trigger point and inject the medication into the area. 

The size of the needle to be used depends on the location of the muscle that is being injected. The needle must be long enough to get to the contraction knots in the trigger point. 

For most superficial muscles, a 22-gauge, 1.5-inch needle is usually enough to get to the contraction knots in the trigger point. 

For thick subcutaneous muscles such as gluteus maximus or paraspinal muscles, a 21-gauge, 2.0-inch needle is usually enough.

During injection, your doctor will use his or her thumb and index finger or the index finger and middle finger to apply pressure on either side of the injection site. 

This is to ensure adequate tension of your muscle fibers so as to allow penetration of the trigger point and prevent it from moving away from the needle. 

The pressure also helps to avoid bleeding within the subcutaneous tissues.

After the trigger point injection is given

After the injection, the area should be palpated to make sure that there are no other tender points. Your doctor will then apply some pressure to the injected area for about two minutes. A simple adhesive bandage may be used to cover the injection spot on the skin.

You may be asked to stretch the affected muscles so as to increase the efficacy of the medication.

You may feel some pain after the injection. Ice or heat may be applied to the injection area to reduce pain. 

For the first week after the injection, you are expected to engage in non-strenuous activities to stretch out your muscles. 

It is advised to put your muscles into full-range motions, especially in the first few days after the injection.

How frequently is a trigger point injection needed?

Typically, trigger point injection stops a trigger point pain after a single injection. A patient with an isolated trigger point typically needs a single injection to resolve the pain. 

However, trigger points caused by chronic conditions such as myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia most times do reoccur after one injection. 

In cases like this, the injection will need to be retaken periodically or as needed. 

The number of times or how frequent the injection is to be taken depends on the medication injected. 

A mixture of anesthetics or lidocaine can be used as an ongoing treatment on a monthly basis. 

If it is a corticosteroid that is injected, it will be not as frequent. Your doctor will determine when to take the injection due to the risk that may occur.

Complications or side effects of trigger point injections

The side effects or complications that may occur after taking a trigger point injection include:

  • Post-injection pain
  • Dent in the skin caused by shrinkage of fat under the skin (happens in steroid medication)
  • Bleeding
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infections (rare)

How long does a trigger point injection last?

Trigger point injection can provide pain relief that lasts for 1-2 months. You may receive several trigger point injections over the next couple of weeks. After that, you may only need to take a single injection every 1-2 months. Taking recurring injections once every 1-2 months is needed to achieve long-term pain relief.

What medicine is used in a trigger point injection?

The medicine in trigger point surrounding may include:

A local anesthetic

A local anesthetic such as lidocaine is included to help block pain receptors in muscles. It provides quick but short-term pain relief.

A corticosteroid

A corticosteroid such as cortisone is also included in trigger point injection. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation in the muscle and nerves to provide long-lasting pain relief.

Are trigger point injections worth it?

Trigger point injections are good treatment options that can be used to treat chronic muscle pain and pain resulting from issues affecting the musculoskeletal system. Doctors use trigger point injections to provide immediate benefits and pain relief to people who have chronic muscle pain.

How painful is a trigger point injection?

Trigger point injection is minimally painful. The injection is given directly into myofascial trigger points. When the needle is being inserted, you may feel a crunching sensation. This sensation usually goes away as the muscle relaxes. You may also feel a bit of numbness and soreness for a few hours.

Where are trigger point injections given?

Trigger point injections are given directly into the myofascial trigger points. A myofascial trigger point is a hyperirritable or sensitive points in your muscles. Trigger points may feel like small bumps, nodules, or knots in your muscle when you touch them. You usually feel pain and tenderness at these trigger points.

Are trigger point injections the same as nerve blocks?

Trigger point injections are not the same as nerve blocks. Trigger point injections are given directly into the trigger points to provide pain relief while nerve blocks are given to block a nerve or a group of nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain. The aim of trigger point injection and nerve block is to provide pain relief but they’re not entirely the same.

What should you not do after a trigger point injection?

After a trigger point injection, you should:

  • Rest the area for 1-2 days following your injection.
  • Limit or avoid activities that may cause strain.
  • Avoid strenuous activities and exercises such as lifting heavy objects.
  • Avoid using heating pads or warm packs for 1-2 days following your injection.
  • Avoid bathtub, hot tub, or pool for two days but you can shower.

Are trigger point injections the same as epidural steroid injections?

Trigger point injections are not the same as epidural steroid injections. An epidural steroid injection is an injection that contains a local anesthetic and corticosteroid, which is injected into the epidural space around the spinal nerves in your low back. An epidural steroid injection is a treatment option for lower back pain and leg pain

Is a trigger point injection the same as a cortisone injection?

Trigger point injection involves injecting a medication that contains a local anesthetic and corticosteroid such as cortisone directly into the trigger points to provide pain relief.

How do you prepare for trigger point injections?

Preparations for trigger point injections include:

  • Avoid eating solid foods for at least four hours before your injection.
  • You can take clear liquids such as water for up to two hours before the injection
  • Avoid blood thinners for a few days before your injection

How often can trigger point injections be given?

You can have several trigger point injections in one session. You may receive more injections over the next couple of weeks to provide best results. Afterward, you may only need one session every 1-2 months to maintain your results.

Are trigger point injections intramuscular?

Trigger point injections involve injecting medications into the trigger points in the muscles to provide pain relief. This means that the medications are injected into the muscles. In conclusion, trigger point injects are intramuscular.

Contact Us

Contact ZEN Interventional Pain & Wellness Center to learn more information about trigger point injections. Give us a call at (682) 253-2986 today. We look forward to providing the trusted chiropractic care and services you can depend on in Mansfield, TX.

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