Trigger Point Injections (TPI) are injections to tight, stiff, or painful muscles, sometimes just called “trigger points”. Trigger points are knots or points within the muscles that may be sensitive or painful to touch or pressure. Trigger points develop from either trauma or repetitive movements and can cause discomfort or pain or tightness. Trigger Point Injections are a pain management treatment for persistent trigger points.
If trigger points are causing your pain or you are having muscle or myofascial pain, come see our pain management specialist Dr. Robert Bowers or Marshall Kim located in Bellevue, WA serving Seattle, WA and the surrounding areas. Call Bellevue Pain and Wellness PLLC to schedule a consultation today.
A trigger point is a painful or tender spot in the musculoskeletal system, sometimes called the myofascia. Myofasica is the grouping of your muscle and your fascia, a thin connective tissue covering over every individual muscle of your body. Myofascial pain can be caused by one or multiple trigger points. These trigger points are tender or painful to the touch and often feel like a knot or bump in the muscle.
Trigger points can affect any muscle of your body but often are muscle of repeated actions. These can cause tenderness, pain or other issues like headaches, referred pain or even numbness. Referred pain is pain that occurs in one location where the cause of the pain is at another location. Some of these muscles that commonly develop trigger points include:
Trigger Point Injections are injections aimed to relax and heal these trigger points. If conservative treatments such as rest, ice, or heat does not help, your doctor or care provider can perform an injection into these trigger points. The injection can relax the trigger point in the muscle or the fascia. Medication may or may not be used depending on the patient’s preferences, health history, indication, and also duration. Some commonly used medication include steroids which reduce inflammation, local anesthetic, saline, or no medication can be used which is called dry needling. Injections can also be used alongside other treatments to maximize pain relief. Physical therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises are commonly prescribed at the same time to help with biomechanics as well as pain relief.
This treatment involves injections into the affected muscles. It usually takes a few minutes. There is no preparation to get trigger point injections. You may be seated or laid down on a procedure table. Your doctor or provider will identify the location of the trigger point or points. The area will be cleaned with alcohol or other sterile skin antiseptic agents. Your doctor or provider will insert a thin needle connected to a syringe. You may feel a twitch or slight spasm of the muscle during the injection. If medication is determined to be necessary, it will be injected into that location. After the injection, you can go home and use the muscle. Typically patients may avoid extreme strenuous activity for the first few days.
The most common side effects are bleeding, infection, bruising, soreness and tenderness of the injection site. Other side effects may be rare and will be discussed by your doctor or care provider prior to injections.
Trigger point injections are very commonly used to treat myofascial pain. However a thorough exam and history must be taken to ensure the correct diagnosis. The injection should work in a few days after the soreness from the injection subsides.
Effectiveness of the injection may wear off and may be repeated as needed. The length of pain relief varies from patient to patient but can range from 1 months to 3 months.
Most insurance plans cover the costs of trigger point injections for qualified patients. Our office will work directly with your insurance to get prior authorization and approval if necessary.
Dr. Bowers is a top Seattle Bellevue interventional pain management specialist with extensive experience in treating all chronic pain disorders. He has many years of experience treating myofascial pain and has performed thousands of trigger point injections.
Book your consultation to see a top pain management specialist who can accurately diagnose the myofascial pain that you are experiencing, and come up with a customized treatment plan for you.