What Are Trigger Points and How Can Injection Therapy Help?

Mar 02, 2024
What Are Trigger Points and How Can Injection Therapy Help?

Chronic pain isn’t always the result of disease. In some instances, chronic pain can be the result of overuse, muscle tightness, trigger points, or other causes. 

The experts at Pain Consultants of Atlanta work closely with patients to identify their pain source and suggest treatment approaches that lead patients to more comfortable, active lives with far less pain. Trigger point injection therapy can address pain caused by small, hard knots of muscle. 

This post describes trigger points, how they can cause chronic pain and effective treatment. Injection therapy is one way to treat trigger points and relieve the pain they cause. 

Why trigger points form

Trigger points are hard knots deep within muscle tissue that are hypersensitive and painful. The trigger point can be painful, and they can also refer pain to another area. For example, a trigger point in your neck could hurt your shoulder. 

Trigger points can form for several reasons, including overuse, improper posture, chronic stress, or underlying medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or others. Regardless of the cause, the result of a trigger point is often pain. 

Anyone of any age can develop a trigger point, but it happens more often in people who have physically demanding jobs and in people who are sedentary. 

Treating trigger points

As with most types of chronic pain, finding the right combination to treat trigger point pain can take some trial and error. Our providers may recommend some combination of physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medications, heat therapy, massage, myofascial release, and trigger point injections. 

Injection therapy

When you have injection therapy for trigger point pain, you begin by locating the knot of muscle. Your provider then isolates and stabilizes it by holding it. Then, they insert a fine needle into the trigger point, partially withdraw it, and reinsert it. This process is repeated several times. 

The goal is to get the knot of muscle tissue to twitch. Once the twitching stops, it relaxes, and your provider injects a small amount of medication into the trigger point. 

The process of injection therapy interrupts the cycle of pain you feel, bringing about relief. Some people feel immediate relief, but others feel relief after 24-72 hours.

Benefits of injection therapy

You may experience sustained relief after a short course of injection therapy, and a life with less pain is certainly beneficial. Also, treatments are generally quick. You can schedule them easily without needing much recovery time. 

If you do have discomfort following injection therapy, we recommend using ice. Your provider may also recommend heat or the use of over-the-counter pain medications. 

If you’re ready to learn more about trigger points and how injection therapy can be an effective treatment, make an appointment at one of our convenient locations.