Trigger Point Injections

Muscle spasms, knots, trigger points – whatever you call them, they hurt. When your muscles contract (tighten) for too long they spasm and cause pain. Trigger point injections (TPI) are a quick and relatively painless procedure that can relieve your spasms (or trigger points) for extended periods. To treat your neck or back pain, make an appointment with Dr. Truong today.

Who Should Receive Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections may help you if your muscle pain has not improved with other treatment, like pain medication or physical therapy, and if you’re experiencing pain in your:

  • shoulder
  • neck
  • upper back
  • lower back
  • arms
  • legs
  • buttocks

Your knots may have been caused by:

  • muscle injuries
  • poor posture
  • repetitive muscle strain
  • stress
  • spine conditions
  • herniated spinal disks
  • tension headaches
  • fibromyalgia
  • muscle strain

Trigger Point Therapy Session

Before undergoing trigger point therapy, tell Dr. Truong if you:

  • have an allergy to lidocaine
  • have an infection near the area where the shot will be given
  • take a blood thinner medication like aspirin or warfarin

A TPI procedure usually takes about 30 minutes. You will be asked to either sit or lay down. Once Dr. Truong locates your trigger point, she will cleanse your skin and apply a topical anesthetic to temporarily numb it.

Dr. Truong will then insert a needle directly into your trigger point. This injection will be formulated to address your specific knots, but usually contains some combination of saline or local anesthetic like lidocaine and a corticosteroid. Depending on the location and severity of your trigger point, you may receive anywhere from 1-6 shots per session.

After Your Trigger Point Injections

After your injection(s), you should avoid strenuous activity for 1-2 days. Doctors recommend that you stretch every 30 minutes the first 6-8 hours after the injections, and then every 1-2 hours over the next 24 hours. Depending on your injury, you may need physical therapy or assistive devices like canes or braces to reduce muscle strain in the injection area.

Treated patients commonly go pain free for the first 6 hours, and then feel pain return for the next day or two before subsiding. You can apply a towel-wrapped ice pack to the sore area for 20-minute periods with one hour breaks in between.

The trigger point injection steroid usually takes effect a few days to a week after treatment. Possible side effects of steroid injections include:

  • facial flushing
  • occasional low-grade fevers
  • headaches
  • increased appetite
  • increased heart rate
  • abdominal cramping or bloating

Call your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms after your TPI:

  • a fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
  • pain in the injection area
  • swelling or tenderness in the injection area
  • warmth, burning, or itching in the injection area

Depending on the nature of your injury, the results of TPI can last a few months or longer. Dr. Truong will help you determine the required frequency of your TPI sessions.

Book Your Appointment Today

TPI may block inflammation and relieve your painful muscle spasms. If you suffer from back or neck pain, contact us today to schedule your first Truong Rehabilitation Center treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Trigger Points?

Trigger points can be caused by many factors, such as a muscle injury, stress, or spinal conditions.

Do Trigger Point Injections Hurt?

As many TPI practitioners use anesthetic, the treatments generally do not hurt. You may experience pain a few days after the injections until the medication takes effect. You can apply a towel-wrapped ice pack to the sore area for 20-minute periods, waiting an hour before reapplying.

What Should I Expect After My Trigger Point Injections?

You should avoid strenuous activity for 1-2 days after the shot. Doctors recommend you stretch every 30 minutes the first 6-8 hours after the injections, and then every 1-2 hours over the next 24 hours. Possible side effects of the steroid injections may include low-grade fevers and headaches.

How Long Do Trigger Point Injections Last?

The steroid in TPI usually takes a few days to a week to start working. Depending on the nature of your injury, a TPI can last a few months or longer.