Frequently asked questions on trigger point injections

Frequently asked questions on trigger point injections

TrP injection or needling is considered a clinically effective therapeutic modality. (Jae-Kwang Jung, Jin-Seok Byun, Jae Kap Choi, 2017) To address referred pain and decreased functionality brought on by touchy muscles; trigger point injections are a potential therapeutic modality. TPI is a generally safe technique when performed by professionals with the necessary training and knowledge. (N. Ann Scott, Bing Guo, Pamela M. Barton, Robert D. Gerwin, 2009) With the help of these injections, agitated nerves can be relaxed, muscle weakness can be treated, and posture and range of motion can be improved. If you want to understand more about this course of therapy, keep reading since we have included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on trigger point injections.

Trigger point injections FAQ

What is trigger point, and what is trigger point injection?

A trigger point is a localized tender spot inside a firm band of skeletal muscles, tendons, or ligaments. (Jae-Kwang Jung, Jin-Seok Byun, Jae Kap Choi, 2017) their names for trigger points include “muscle knots” and “myofascial muscle pain.” They may cause both referred pain and local pain when they are compressed. (Clara S. M. Wong and Steven H. S. Wong, 2012) They frequently emerge in the neck and back. They can also develop in other muscles, such as the shoulders, arms, legs, and buttocks.

Trigger point injection is a type of pain relief therapy that includes injecting a general anesthetic, often in conjunction with a steroid medicine, into the trigger points to ease muscles and reduce pain. The fundamental goal of trigger point injection is to disable the trigger points, which will lessen discomfort and restore function. (N. Ann Scott, Bing Guo, Pamela M. Barton, Robert D. Gerwin, 2009)

What are medical conditions treated with trigger point injections?

TrP injections can treat pain from trigger point syndrome or myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Because it mechanically disturbs the TrPs, trigger point injection or needling is still regarded as one of the most successful treatments for MPS. (Jae-Kwang Jung, Jin-Seok Byun, Jae Kap Choi, 2017)1 For disorders causing chronic pain, trigger point injections can be a secure therapy. These conditions might include but are not limited to:

    • Fibromyalgia Moreover, it also reduces: (S C Han, P Harrison, 1997)
    • Tension headaches
    • Low back pain
    • Neck pain
    • Shoulder pain

What is used in trigger point injections?

Injectates that are given below are used in trigger points in a variety of combinations and concentrations: (Jae-Kwang Jung, Jin-Seok Byun, Jae Kap Choi, 2017)

    • Steroids
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
    • Local anesthetics such as 1% lidocaine or procaine
    • Botulinum toxin

Are there risks?

The dangers of treatment vary significantly depending on the body part being addressed. The risk is negligible and comparable to that of any injection.

    • There has been bleeding or pain in some patients. (Hammi C, Schroeder JD, Yeung B., 2022)
    • Anaesthetic allergy and infection at the injection site are also observed. (Matthew S Robbins 1, Deena Kuruvilla, Andrew Blumenfeld, Larry Charleston 4th, Michael Sorrell, Carrie E Robertson, Brian M Grosberg, Steven D Bender, Uri Napchan, Avi Ashkenazi, 2014)
    • Hypokalemic paralysis, although it rarely occurs but a complication of TrP. (Paolo K Soriano, Mukul Bhattarai, Carrie N Vogler, Tamer H Hudali , 2017)
    • Pneumothorax may occur after trigger point injection in the cervicothoracic areas. (Elif Oral Ahiskalioglu, Haci Ahmet Alici, Aysenur Dostbil, Mine Celik, Ali Ahiskalioglu, Mehmet Aksoy, 2016)
    • Discoloration of skin at the injection site
    • Temporary numbness
    • Formation of hematoma

What is the benefit to the patient?

TPIs can provide patients with a variety of advantages. Trigger point injection is a popular pain management treatment. (Clara S. M. Wong and Steven H. S. Wong, 2012) Trigger point injections can reduce pain by:

    • Loosening up tight muscles
    • Expanding flexibility and range of motion
    • Relaxation of muscle fibres (Clara S. M. Wong and Steven H. S. Wong, 2012)7
    • Eliminating stiffness and rigidity in the affected muscle
    • Reducing referred pain.

Are trigger point injections covered by insurance?

Injections that are deemed medically essential as a result of disease or damage and depending on signs and symptoms are covered. If a trigger point restricts movement, is currently painful when compressed, causes discomfort, stiffness, or referred pain, it is regarded medically necessary to administer it.

How painful is a trigger point injection?

Because trigger points are often uncomfortable to the touch, you will probably feel discomfort if your doctor manually locates the trigger point before administering the injection. When your doctor inserts the drug and the needle, you can experience burning and stinging. Your discomfort may briefly worsen as the needle’s tip contacts the trigger site. Despite the agony, this indicates that the needle is in the right place.

What is the procedure?

  1. Position the patient comfortably.
  2. Keeping in view the case, the practitioner may block the nerve so that the insertion of the needle does not cause any pain.
  3. Now, the therapist must do the following steps: (Hammi C, Schroeder JD, Yeung B., 2022)
    • The therapist should use his non-dominant index finger and thumb to compress the spot between their fingers and stabilize the tissue after identifying a trigger point and cleansing the area above it.
    • The doctor will make a 30-degree angle to penetrate the trigger site with a five or 10mL syringe needle.
    • By continuously inserting and withdrawing the needle without entirely removing it from the muscle, the clinician repeatedly continues needling the region.
    • The physician must keep moving the needle in different directions until the muscle stops twitching or the patient feels sufficiently calmed.

What if trigger point injections don’t work?

Are your trigger point injections not working? If trigger point injections are ineffective or fail to cure your persistent pain, your doctor may suggest additional procedures, like:

    • Postural changes
    • Specialized exercises
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Physical therapy
    • Stretching
    • Relaxants for the muscles
    • Surgery

Who should not get a trigger point injection?

The contraindications of TrP injections may include: (Hammi C, Schroeder JD, Yeung B., 2022)

    1. Patient rejection
    2. Patients using anticoagulants
    3. significant infection at the trigger point’s location
    4. pregnant women
    5. mental illness that is ineffectively managed
    6. people with allergies
    7. people with local open skull defects
    8. extreme fibromyalgia
    9. When patients have a severe phobia of needles

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