Trigger Point Injections

Trigger Point Injection (TPI) for Pain Management

Trigger point injection (TPI) may be an option in treating pain for some patients. TPI is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. Many times, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the muscle and nerves around them causing referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body.

What Happens During Trigger Point Injection?
In the TPI procedure, your doctor inserts a small needle into the trigger point after numbing the area with topical ethyl chloride spray. The injection contains a local anesthetic that sometimes includes a corticosteroid. With the injection, the trigger point is broken up, the muscle relaxes and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in the office and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit. It may be repeated several times if needed a few weeks apart. It is best used in conjunction with home exercise and stretching program, and physical therapy.

When Is Trigger Point Injection Used?
TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treat muscle strains, fibromyalgia and tension headaches. TPI also is used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.

Our doctors have a tremendous amount of experience and training in various trigger point injection techniques. This experience and expert understanding of the anatomy and physiology, helps to maximize the benefits of this technique.