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An Overview of Trigger Point Injections

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A trigger point injection (TPI) is a non-invasive technique designed to help relieve pain caused by sensitive areas of muscle tissue called trigger points. These spots of inflammation or spasm are often found in the shoulders and upper back, but can occasionally occur in the lower back and extremities.  Trigger points irritate surrounding nerve tissue, causing neck and shoulder pain, as well as a headache. They can also generate discomfort in other areas of the body, called referred pain. TPI is safe, lasts only a few minutes, and is performed by a physician on an outpatient basis. The treatment is used for individuals experiencing symptoms from active trigger points.

The procedure begins by having the individual either sit or lie on their stomach on an exam table. The physician finds the trigger point by manual touch and marks it. Then the point of Injection is cleaned, and deadening medication is applied directly to the skin to reduce procedure pain.  Next, a needle is inserted into the marked spot and medication is injected. The drug used can be a local anesthetic or a steroid. A bandage is applied at the conclusion of the procedure. If the area is sore afterward, an over the counter drug such as Tylenol Advil, on Naproxen can be administered.

 

TPI may be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Pain in low back, legs, arms, and neck
  • Tension Headaches
  • Temporomandibular pain
  • Areas of acute trauma or minor repetitive injury

Some patients suffering from fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome may experience symptom relief.

 

TPI can be performed as needed, depending on the type of medication used. An anesthetic mixture can be utilized more frequently than a steroid.

Do not have a trigger point injection if you are pregnant, have a bleeding disorder, are allergic to any of the medications used, are ill or have a systemic or local infection, or have a fear of needles.

If you have been experiencing trigger point pain and would like to find out if you can be evaluated for TPI, please contact us at either our New Braunfels or Seguin offices.

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