Trigger point injections (TPI) are used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax or trigger points which can irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body.
It can be used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. TPI is effective in treating fibromyalgia and tension headaches. The effectiveness for alleviating myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) is still under study.
The procedure can be performed in doctor’s office and usually take few minutes.
During the procedure, the injection of a local anesthetic and sometimes a corticosteroid with a small needle is inserted into the patient’s trigger point and makes it inactive and the pain is alleviated.
Several sites may be injected in one visit. Also, if a patient has an allergy to a certain medication, a doctor can use the dry-needle technique (involving no medications).