Trigger point injections (TPI) are used to help to treat “referred” pain caused by trigger points. Referred pain occurs when trigger points are irritated or stimulated, leading to pain felt in other areas of the body, rather than its actual source. Trigger point injections helps to relieve referred pain to get you back to your daily activities.

What are trigger points?

Trigger points are palpable, tender knots that often develop when muscles have trouble relaxing. They may spasm or become inflamed, and they’re typically located in the upper back and shoulder regions. As pressure and movement continually aggravate the nerves around these knots, pain can radiate to other areas of the body. Symptoms and signs of trigger points are:

  • Pain in multiple areas of the body
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness or trouble balancing
  • Redness on the skin above the trigger point

For many patients, trigger point injections are the solution to relieving radiating pain.

During TPI treatment

The patient is positioned in a comfortable setting where the trigger point can be easily accessed. The trigger point is located and the skin is cleaned and prepped for the injection. A thin needle is inserted directly into the trigger point and a local anesthetic solution containing a corticosteroid is injected. This only takes a few minutes, but may require multiple treatments and injections at multiple sites. Sometimes, a needle can be inserted without administering medication to treat pain. This is called “dry needling.”

TPIs are ideal for treating issues in the major muscle groups, such as the arms, legs, neck, and upper and lower back. TPIs can also be effective in managing myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and tension headaches.

If you have been experiencing chronic pain, call the pain specialists at Cedar Rapids Pain Associates today at (319) 540-8251 to schedule your next appointment.