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What is it?

A trigger point injection is an injection (shot) into a painful are of muscle. Normal muscles tighten and relax as you use them. A trigger point is a tight knot or band of muscle that forms when a muscle does not relax.  They can be very painful.  An injection into the trigger point can help it relax and relieve the pain.

Trigger point injections are usually accompanied by muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises.

Many patients recieve a series of trigger point injections, usually at 7-14 days  apart.

Why Do I Need it?

Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots that are painful on compression and can produce referred pain or tenderness as well as problems with muscle function.  The pain can affect posture, cause weakness, and reduce your range of motion. Trigger points can be caused by or associated with a number of conditions, including:

  • Muscle tension conditions, such as myofascial pain syndrome (a common chronic pain that surrounds muscle tissue), or fibromyalgia, (chronic pain in the muscles of soft tissues surrounding joints)
  • Tension headaches or TMJ pain
  • Muscle injuries or repetitive use injuries
  • Spine conditions such as herniated discs, pinched nerves and fractures.

How Do I Prepare?

There are a few things you can do to make your procedure go better:

Medication Changes. You may be asked to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners (Coumadin, plavix), before the procedure.  Be sure to check with you regular doctor before stopping any medications.

Medication List. On the day of the procedure, bring a list of all your current medications to the appointment.  This includes over-the-counter medications, herbals and vitamins.

X-rays or other images. Bring these on the day of the procedure as well.

Medical History. Be sure to tell your doctor about any blood thinners, or if you are ill on the day of your injection.

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