Trigger Point Injections: What Are They?
Frequently Asked Questions and Instructions
A: A trigger point injection, or 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 nerves around them and cause referred pain (pain that is felt in another part of the body). In the TPI procedure Allen (our Nurse Practitioner) will find the trigger point, clean and mark your skin where the shot will be given, then insert a small needle into the trigger point. The injection contains saline and lidocaine. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Often, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections usually take just a few minutes, and several sites may be injected in one visit.
A: The needle used is very small, and doesn’t feel much different from any other shot you may receive. It is inserted into the belly of the targeted muscle, so relief is felt immediately.
A: Relief from the affected area is instantaneous, and the initial treatment lasts up to 4 hours before it begins to dissipate. Continuous treatment will prolong the effects and relief of each injection.
A: There are a few things that you can do. Wear loose and dark clothing to your appointment whenever you receive injections. This makes it simpler for Allen to access the area(s) in need, and helps avoid any stains to your clothes. Afterwards, try to avoid any activities that could strain the treated area. Since the injection will help block pain, you could inadvertently cause more damage to the muscle and not feel it until it’s too late.
As always, don’t hesitate to ask a member of our team if you have any further questions! We at Abundant Health are here to help you feel better.