A trigger point is a tight band of muscle, or a “knot” that can occur when a muscle cannot relax. Normal muscles should contract and relax, but when a muscle fails to relax it can irritate the surrounding nerves and become extremely painful. Trigger points can cause referred pain in other areas of the body, a decrease in range of motion or weakness. In some cases the trigger point, or knot, may twitch involuntarily when touched, which is called a jump sign. A trigger point injection (TPI) can be used to alleviate chronic pain of surrounding tissue, known as myofascial pain syndrome, in areas such as the neck, lower back, arms and legs, and is also used to treat tension headaches and fibromyalgia symptoms.
New York Sports Medicine is highly qualified to treat patients using trigger point injections in order to alleviate pain. The procedure is performed within our modern state-of-the-art facility by Dr. Michael J. Neeley. Most patients usually experience sustained pain relief following a brief course of treatment. TPI is primarily performed after pain does not respond to other forms of treatment, and the procedure is relatively safe and effective.
About Trigger Point Injection (TPI):
Trigger point injections are utilized to alleviate pain that results when trigger points irritate surrounding tissue and muscle. A physician injects a medication into soft tissue in localized areas where a patient is experiencing pain and tenderness in order to inactivate the trigger point. Sometimes more than one injection is given in a single visit and multiple injections may be needed in order to maintain sustained pain relief. The procedure is quick and causes only minor discomfort at the injection site.
HowTPI is done:
TPI is performed in our modern facility at New York Sports Medicine by a trained physician. After cleansing the site of the injection with a sterile solution, a local anesthetic and sometimes an anti-inflammatory steroid is injected into the area where the tenderness exists. Once the area is numb, a medication is injected which inactivates the trigger point. The procedure usually takes about 15 – 20 minutes, but can be longer if multiple injections are required. The area of the injection may be slightly sore for 24 – 48 hours following the procedure, but patients can resume regular activities immediately and ice usually helps to alleviate some of the soreness at the injection site. Light stretching is also recommended following the procedure.
Preparing for TPI:
Since you will be receiving medication during the injection, it is recommended that no food or beverages be consumed for 4 -5 hours prior to the procedure. It is also important to notify the physician of any medications and supplements you are currently taking, illnesses, and allergies. You may be instructed to discontinue certain medications prior to the procedure but do not do so unless instructed by the physician. Any additional information will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.