A trigger point is a tight band of skeletal muscle or knot within the muscle. The purpose of trigger point injections is to repeatedly break up this tight band. The procedure is done by injecting into the muscle a local anesthetic to decrease inflammation within the muscle.
Patient Post-care Responsibilities:
- Allow your muscles to rest for 3 days
- Gentle stretch treated muscles as tolerated
- Use warm compress 6 hours after injections as needed for 72 hours, on 20 minutes intervals, 20 off 20 on.
- TPI may also be used to treat pain due to acute or chronic strain or trauma or for simple muscle pain.
- Focal reproducible pain with movement or palpation in a defined (typically 1-2 cm or fingertip size) externally accessible location within a muscle group.
- Pain refractory to OTC and prescription analgesics, relaxation techniques, or localized massage.
- Pain in a patient who wants to avoid medications or has previously experienced positive results with TPI.
- Allergy to local anesthetic
- Fear or syncope related to needles
- Injection site near a critical anatomic structure
- Overlying cellulitis
- Previous adverse experience with TPI
- Severe coagulopathy or bleeding disorder
- Pregnancy. Breastfeeding.
Roldan CJ, Hu N. Myofascial pain syndromes in the emergency department: what are we missing? J Emerg Med. 2015;49(6):1004-1010.
What are trigger point injections? Wake Spine & Pain Specialists website. Accessed June 22, 2018.