Learning About Trigger Point Injections

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Injection of medicine into trigger point of muscle

What are trigger point injections?

A trigger point is a painful knot in a tight band of muscle. Trigger point injections are shots of medicine into these knots to help relieve the pain. The medicines are usually local anesthetics like lidocaine.

How is a trigger point injection done?

Your doctor first locates a trigger point by pressing around the painful area. This may cause your muscle to hurt or twitch. This tells the doctor that he or she has found the spot to do the injection.

The area is cleaned. Your doctor then injects the medicine into the trigger point. He or she may inject the medicine in more than one direction within the trigger point. The doctor may change direction without removing the needle.

If you have more than one trigger point in the muscle, your doctor may repeat the process.

Your doctor may stretch the area to help the muscle relax. He or she may also show you how to move and stretch the muscle yourself.

The procedure takes about 10 to 30 minutes. How long it takes depends on how many trigger points are treated. But an injection itself takes only a few moments.

What can you expect after a trigger point injection?

The area may feel a bit numb for a few hours. It may also feel sore.

Trigger point injections may reduce some or all of your pain. But the pain can come back after the medicine wears off. If your pain comes back, your doctor may suggest more shots or other treatment for longer-lasting relief.

Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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