Trigger point injections refer to the insertion of a fine needle into very specific areas of a muscle to relieve tension and reduce pain. If your back pain isn’t relieved by physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, or posture improvements, your back specialist may recommend a trigger point injection. Keep reading to find out what it does and what you can expect.
How It Works
Muscular back pain is sometimes caused by tight knots or bands in the muscle, which form when the muscle cannot properly relax. You can feel these knots under your skin. If you press on them, you’ll feel pain radiating from the area into your neck or toward other areas. Trigger points can also irritate nearby nerves, causing discomfort. When the back specialist inserts the needle directly into the knot, the muscle will twitch. The insertion of the needle itself is usually sufficient to relax the knot of muscle and treat the pain. However, for added pain relief, the back specialist may inject a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid.
What You Can Expect
During your appointment with the back specialist, you can expect to undergo a physical exam. The specialist will determine where your trigger points are and ask you about your symptoms. Then, the skin directly above the trigger point is marked and cleansed. The back specialist inserts the needle and watches for a twitching of the muscle. To ensure that the entire knot of muscle has been treated, the doctor will gently move the needle in and out of the knot in various directions.
What to Do Afterward
The procedure takes just a couple of minutes, after which you may be asked to stretch the muscle. You’ll feel immediate relief of pain due to the local anesthetic. After the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some soreness. Trigger point injections can help relieve pain for weeks or even months at a time.
To schedule an appointment for diagnostic or therapeutic injections, call SpineOne of Denver at (888) 721-0459. Our back specialists offer the latest in non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques to resolve your back pain. We’ll work closely with you to customize a treatment plan that suits your unique needs.