Trigger points are small painful focal areas of muscle contractions, or “knots,” that are in spasm and do not relax. These trigger points sometimes can be felt under the skin and may irritate the surrounding nerve tissues causing referred pain to another part of the body.
Trigger point injection treatment consists of placing a small needle in the area of the inflamed, hyperactive or taut muscle or “trigger point.” The purpose of this procedure is to inject a solution (steroid/saline/lidocaine) into these tender regions to decrease inflammatory substances, reduce pain and relax the muscle spasms. This renders the trigger point inactive, providing pain relief. The procedure is performed in the doctors office and usually takes a few minutes. Several trigger points may be treated in one session. Trigger point injections may be repeated periodically, and are an important part of treating such conditions as fibromyalgia and tension headaches as well other myofascial pain disorders. They are effective in the treatment of chronic trigger points and commonly used on the muscle groups of the arms, legs, back and neck.