A trigger point injection is an outpatient procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax and may be an option in treating pain for some patients. Many times, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body.
In the TPI procedure, small needle is inserted into the patient’s trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic that sometimes includes a corticosteroid. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in the doctor’s office and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit.
Trigger points can:
- cause muscle spasm
- limit your arm and leg movement
- decrease strength