Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections are proven effective for chronic pain management.
Trigger points are hyperirritable spots in tight bands of muscles, and can often be felt as a tender knot. They can restrict movement and cause muscle weakness, along with referred or radiating pain into other parts of the body.
Trigger point injections at Wellspring Health Center target these tight spots directly with a steroid-free local anesthetic to numb and relax the trigger point. The stimulation caused by the needle itself serves to deactivate the trigger point and relax the muscle. For optimum comfort, Wellspring uses very fine gauge needles for trigger point injections.
Candidates for trigger point injections are persons who have experienced ongoing musculoskeletal pain with no relief from conservative treatment.
Trigger point injections are almost always intended to be accompanied by physical therapy because the therapist is able to stretch and release the involved muscles further after the injection.
What to expect:
Your health history and current medications will be reviewed prior to any treatment. It is of special importance to know if you are allergic to any medications. Our medical provider will also want to know if you’ve been taking any anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners), including aspirin.
Your range of motion in the affected areas will be assessed along with how your symptoms affect your daily activities. You will be asked to identify the affected painful areas so they may be examined and marked. Depending upon the location of your trigger points, you may not need to disrobe.
After our medical provider examines you and identifies your “trigger points”, she will then prepare and inject the trigger points using a very fine gauge needle for comfort and a steroid-free local anesthetic. This may be done in either a sitting or lying position.
You will rest for a few minutes after your injection. You will then see one of our therapists for stretching and other appropriate therapies as well as education on proper home stretching of the injected muscles.
Are Trigger Point Injections Painful?
Wellspring medical practitioners use very fine gauge needles for the injection for optimum comfort. The injected area may feel numb for up to a few hours after the injection. You may be sore and/or have a bruise in the area of the injection over the following few days.
Frequency of Trigger Point Injections
You may be scheduled for a series of trigger point injections, usually at two-week intervals. At each session, you might receive from one to six injections, depending upon the location and severity of your symptoms.
The injected muscles should be stretched every 30 minutes for the first 6-8 hours after the injection. Over the next 24 hours, you should stretch every 1-2 hours.
You can apply an ice pack to the sore areas (apply over clothing or a thin towel) for up to 20 minutes, then wait an hour and repeat if swelling and pain persist.
When stretching, you should work through the stiffness, however, do not continue if stretching produces sharp pain. Do not participate in any rigorous exercise for the first few days after the injections.
The injected area may feel numb for a few hours after the procedure. You may get a bruise at the site of the injection.
Note: If the injection is into the leg, ankle or foot, you will not be allowed to drive due to numbness in the area of the injection. Someone will need to drive you home.
Expected Response to Trigger Point Injections:
All patients who receive trigger point injection respond differently. The goal is to “break the cycle of pain” that has inhibited the return to normal daily activities.
Does my Insurance Cover Trigger Point Injections?
Most insurance plans cover trigger point injections as long as you have a history of trying NSAID’s and physical therapy first. We will verify your insurance coverage and review it with you prior to the procedure.