Trigger points are parts of a dysfunctional muscle belly that are sometimes referred to as ‘knots.’ These trigger points can occur in various regions of the body, but most common in the upper back, shoulder, lower back and neck regions. Trigger Point Injections can help provide pain relief in these areas by inactivating the trigger point and thereby reducing pain. The injection accomplishes this by relaxing the muscle, reducing inflammation and desensitizing the nerves. The Trigger Point Injection involves a precise injection of a particular agent directly into and around the trigger point. Dr. Alex Del Duca performs the Trigger Point Injections at the clinic and uses Ropivacaine, lidocaine and procaine as his agent.
Who can benefit from Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger points are commonly associated with: chronic pain disorders, low back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, headaches, and extremity deformities. Repetitive motion, minor injuries, or acute traumatic events can lead to the development of trigger points.
The Trigger Point Injection Procedure
The trigger points are identified in office using palpation and ultrasound guidance techniques, along with information from your history and presentation. The procedure takes approximately less than 15 minutes to perform. The patient will be provided with an aftercare information sheet. Prior to the appointment it is beneficial to stretch the involved muscle group.
Side Effects and Recovery
After the procedure, the injected area may experience some tenderness. Patients can apply ice or heat to the tender area to help reduce pain, in addition to possibly taking acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) if needed for pain control. Remain active after the procedure in an effort to put the affected muscle through its full range of motion in the week after the injection. However, refrain from strenuous activity, particularly for the first three to four days after the injection. Trigger point injections side effects are rare, but may include infection and bleeding.