Trigger Point Injections

  • Purpose:  To treat trigger points, painful knots of muscle that are developed when the muscle cannot relax. Trigger points have been found to irritate surrounding nerves and lead to referred pain- pain that is felt in another part of the body.
  • Overview: Injections deliver anesthetic and/or anti-inflammatory solution directly to the trigger point in order to establish a diagnosis, relieve discomfort, and reduce inflammation.
  • After the procedure: There may be numbness where the injection took place. It may take 2-3 hours for the pain to subside. Redness and a feeling of warmth may be experienced. Apply ice as needed to relieve any pain from the injection as well as protect the injection area for a couple of days by avoiding strenuous activity. It is important to be aware of heightened pain, redness and swelling that lasts more than two days.
  • Potential complications: Osteonecrosis (death of nearby bone), infection, nerve damage, thinning of skin and tissue surrounding the injection site, pain and inflammation of the joint, tendon weakening or rupture, osteoporosis (nearby bone thinning), and skin discoloration around the injection site. Due to potential complications, physicians will limit the number of injections given to a patient based on the location and the reason for treatment.  It is very unlikely that any complication will happen with this procedure. However, unlike most other injections, with this injection there is a very low potential to puncture a lung which causes acute shortness of breath, and requires immediate treatment.