Trigger Point Injections: What to Expect?

Posted on: 18 October 2023

Trigger point injections are an effective way to treat muscle pain and soreness. They target knots in the muscle, also known as trigger points, that cause pain and discomfort. The injection comprises a local anesthetic, which effectively numbs the trigger point, along with a steroid that effectively reduces inflammation and swelling. This procedure is relatively simple, and it can be done in your doctor's office. Are you curious about the details of this pain-relieving treatment? Read on to learn more!

How does the procedure work?

Trigger point injections work by administering a shot directly into the trigger point. The shot contains a local anesthetic, usually lidocaine, that numbs the pain receptors in the muscle. It also contains a steroid that helps reduce inflammation and swelling. The procedure takes only a few minutes and is done in your doctor's office. The injection may cause some discomfort, but the local anesthetic will provide relief within a few minutes.

What are the benefits?

Trigger point injections offer prompt and effective relief from muscle pain and discomfort, swiftly alleviating your discomfort. In addition to the pain relief, the corticosteroid medication can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the area. The injection can also be done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you won't need to spend the night in the hospital. Trigger point injections are usually covered by insurance and are a cost-effective treatment option compared to other more invasive procedures.

What are the risks?

Like any medical procedure, trigger point injections carry certain risks. It's important to be aware of the potential complications associated with this treatment. The most common side effect is soreness at the injection site for a day or two after the procedure. Some patients may also experience temporary weakness or numbness in the muscles. Occasionally, a medication can elicit an allergic reaction, although such instances are rare. However, these risks are minimal, and most patients do not experience any complications.

What to expect during and after the procedure?

To detect the precise trigger point in your muscle, your doctor will commence with a comprehensive physical examination. In addition, they may utilize an ultrasound machine to precisely locate the exact position of the trigger point. Once the trigger point is located, the injection will be administered, and you may feel a slight pinch or pressure. The process only takes a few minutes, and you will be able to go home immediately afterward.

After the procedure, you may experience some soreness and bruising in the area, but this should resolve within a few days. Following your procedure, your doctor might recommend using ice or a heating pad to alleviate any discomfort you may experience. It is essential to avoid strenuous physical activity for a couple of days while the injection site heals.

Trigger-point injections can be a great way to treat muscle pain and discomfort. They are quick, effective, and relatively inexpensive compared to other treatments. While there are some risks, they are minimal, and most patients do not experience any complications. If you experience muscle pain or soreness, consulting your doctor can help determine if trigger point injections are a suitable option for you.