Trigger point injections are a specific type of local injection that your physician can use to treat local areas of muscle pain and spasm. Trigger points are commonly defined as areas of taut muscle bands or palpable knots of the muscle which are painful. Often these trigger points can cause localized pain and even referred pain patterns that can even mimic the pain people feel from nerves being pinched in their neck or low back. Your physician may choose to give a trial of trigger point injections to see if they can help these areas of local muscle tenderness to relieve pain.
Common medications used in trigger point injections can include local anesthetic, normal saline, and small doses of steroid medications. Many studies have been done on trigger point injections and their efficacy utilizing these different types of medications. Research has demonstrated that just the local placement of the needle can help with muscle spasms, similar to acupuncture. The volume of the solution can affect the muscle spasm as well, and often times the injections of normal saline can be helpful for pain.
Utilizing a local anesthetic to numb the region of pain can help break the cycle of pain. A small dose of steroid medication at the site can help decrease inflammation of muscles as well.
Your physician may choose a combination of the above medications, depending on your symptoms and response. Trigger point injections are sometimes repeated in a series, depending on the results of the injections and the relief of pain that they provide. Often times, more than one injection is performed on various sites, depending on the physician’s examination findings of trigger points.