How Do Trigger Point Injections Relieve Pain? 

Mar 19, 2024 | Pain Management

While most of us try to avoid suffering as much as possible, some amount of physical pain actually provides some very helpful benefits. It serves as a bodily warning system to prevent injuries and can alert us to underlying problems. 

But when the pain won’t go away and turns into a chronic problem, it becomes a barrier to our ability to function and enjoy the things we love most. When you experience chronic pain in your back, neck, or joints for months at a time, life can come to a standstill. Relief becomes our number-one goal. 

While there are various treatments available for chronic pain, not all offer the same level of relief. One of these treatments, known as a trigger point injection, has shown promise in providing significant pain relief for some patients. Is it right for you? Only your doctor can say for sure, but we’ve got a helpful overview of this popular pain management procedure. 

What Is a Trigger Point Injection?

A trigger point injection is a procedure where a health professional injects a small amount of medication directly into specific areas (called “trigger points”) in the muscles. Trigger points are small, hyperirritable nodules or tight bands of muscle fibers that develop within a muscle. These points can be quite sensitive to touch and can cause pain in the area where they are located, as well as referred pain in other parts of the body.

Trigger point injections work by numbing the area and reducing inflammation around the trigger point, which can relieve pain. Doctors may use one or more substances, such as: 

• A local anesthetic to numb the area and relieve pain

• A corticosteroid to reduce inflammation around the trigger point

• A saline solution which can also be effective in some cases

• No substance (called “dry needling”), which can sometimes help to deactivate the trigger point

They can be helpful in treating many types of pain, including headaches, neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.

During the procedure, you may feel a slight sting or pinch when the needle is inserted. Afterward, you might experience some soreness in the area where the injection was given. However, many patients report feeling immediate relief following the procedure.

While results vary, many studies show that trigger point injections can be effective in relieving chronic pain when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Keep in mind that every patient is unique and outcomes may differ from individual to individual.

Potential Side Effects and Risks of Trigger Point Injections

As with any medical procedure, trigger point injections come with potential side effects and risks. These might include pain at the injection site, infection, bleeding, or allergic reactions to the medication used. However, these side effects are generally rare and can be managed by your healthcare provider.

It’s also worth noting that while trigger point injections can provide relief from chronic pain, they are not a cure. Ongoing management — through physical therapy, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes — may be necessary to keep the pain at bay.

Get Trigger Point Injections and More With HPM

At HPM, we provide the latest advancements in pain management at our rural clinics across the country. Our team of specialists understands how to identify the true source of each patient’s pain so they can provide the most effective treatment possible.

We believe in a comprehensive approach to pain management and offer a range of treatment options including trigger point injections. If you’re struggling with chronic pain and are interested in exploring whether trigger point injections might be right for you, contact us today to find a location near you.

Enduring chronic pain isn’t a life sentence. With the right treatment plan for your individual needs, it’s possible to regain control of your life and find relief from chronic pain.