frequently asked questions on trigger point injections

What exactly is a trigger point?

When an area of muscle is painful and tender, that is a trigger point. When the area is Nevada pain management doctorspressed on, it may feel to an individual like a tight band or a knot and it can “trigger” pain in this area.

Interestingly, when a trigger point is pressed it may send pain down the arm or the leg nearby. The trigger point is actually indicative of an overactive muscle as a result of a spinal problem, stress or overuse.

There are several treatments available to treat a trigger point problem including pain medications, physical therapy and exercise, reducing stress, improving posture and trigger point injections.

What is a trigger point injection?

One of the best treatments typically for a trigger point is often a trigger point injection.

This injection can decrease muscle spasms and also help relax the “tight” band or knot. It is a simple outpatient injection involving a tiny needle and pain medication.

For which problems do trigger injections benefit?

The injections help tremendously for muscular pain in the arms or legs, shoulder, back or neck as a result of:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tension headaches
  • Chronic pain in muscle, known as myofascial pain.

There are certain areas of the body, associated with trigger points, as you can see on the diagram. The trigger injection may be very helpful as pain management treatment is started. They may offer benefits along with additional treatments which may include spinal decompression therapy, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, pain medication and possibly epidural injections if the person is having sciatica in the legs or radiculopathy in the arms.

How are these injections done?

A Pain Doctor will utilize a small needle for the injection after sterilizing the skin. The needles used are tiny, approximately the size of a TB needle if you never had one of those injections.

Once the desired area is reached, the needle will cause a “twitch” which tells the doctor he or she is in the right spot. At that point, numbing medicine is placed along with potentially steroid or nonsteroidal additional medication. A slight burning may be felt by the patient.

The combination of the twitch and the pain medicine injected will relieve the muscle spasms and pain most of the time. It is unclear from the available research whether or not the steroid or nonsteroidal medication helps in addition to the simple numbing medicine.

Usually, the doctor will move the needle around a bit to make sure the best results are achieved. Overall, the procedure only takes a couple minutes and a pressure bandage isTrigger points placed afterwards.

How well do trigger point injections work?

Usually, pain relief is felt immediately with the numbing medicine and lasts between four and 12 hours. There may be subsequent soreness, similar to when a person receives a vaccination.

Adding a stretching regimen along with some ice may help additionally. Possibly a TENS unit with intermittent use providing electrical stimulation may help as well. Once the numbing medicine wears off, steroid or nonsteroidal medication should start to provide additional relief for a few days to months.

These injections can be repeated every few weeks and as mentioned performed along with chiropractic physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and electrical stimulation.

Are there risks involved with these injections?

The risks of these injections are minimal. There’s a very small risk of some bleeding at the injection site. If the person is on blood thinners they should speak with their Las Vegas Pain Doctor about when to stop these prior to the procedure.

There’s always the chance of an allergic reaction to the medicine injected. Rarely, the needle could puncture a long if placed too deeply. If the patient has difficulty breathing or severe vomiting and nausea afterwards, thepain doctor should be notified right away.

In reality, the biggest risk is that the injection may simply not work. It is important that trigger point injections not be performed too frequently as this may cause scar tissue to form.

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic neck or back pain, pain management clinics in Las Vegas can help. Facet joint injections may help with pain relief and function tremendously. They are low risk, highly effective and covered by most insurance plans.

Call your local Las Vegas pain clinic today!