Trigger point injections are used to relieve painful trigger points, areas of muscle that have become tight and inflamed. Often, a tender knot or tight band can be felt at the spot.
There are two types of trigger points:
- Active: Applying pressure will cause pain at the spot, as well as pain and sometimes other symptoms (such as swelling) in other parts of the body.
- Latent: These may hurt when pressed, but they do not cause other symptoms and do not need treatment unless they become active.
Who Would Benefit From Trigger Point Injections?
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing persistent pain from trigger points — especially pain that radiates (spreads) to the surrounding areas. You may be referred to a physiatrist, pain specialist or physical therapist for further evaluation and treatment.
Trigger points can be caused by a variety of conditions, including the following:
- Back pain, which typically occurs after a fall, injury or heavy lifting, and is chronic, persisting for three months or longer
- Neck pain
- Chronic tension from stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome, (also called chronic myofascial pain) is a condition in which connective tissue called fascia tightens and contracts; this is usually from an injury or overuse (repetitive motion)
- Poor posture
- Migraine or tension headaches
- Traumatic or overuse (repetitive motion) sports or other injury
Types of Trigger Point Injections
- Anesthetic (e.g., lidocaine)
- Corticosteroid (cortisone), alone or mixed with lidocaine
- Dry-needling, a needle used without any medication. This can be a good option for trigger points that produce a twitch when you apply pressure and create referred pain (pain that's perceived at a location other than the trigger point).
Your doctor will discuss the available options and help you decide the best approach.
Most trigger points go away after one injection but may come back, depending on what caused them. That is especially true for trigger points from chronic pain conditions or repetitive motion. For recurring trigger points, you may need additional injections.
Injections are given in the doctor's office or physical therapy suite.
Rush Excellence in Trigger Point Injections
- Pioneers in pain treatment alternatives: Rush is committed to offering pain management strategies that reduce the need for pain medication — and the risk of opioid addiction.
- A team of specialists focused on you: Our pain experts work with other specialists — including orthopedic surgeons, cancer experts and mental health professionals — to design a personalized pain treatment plan for you.
- Ongoing holistic care for you: We are committed to helping you control your pain and will guide you through an ongoing self-care program that includes: exercise, stretching, sleep improvement and sometimes medications such as muscle relaxers and sleep aids.
- One of the nation's top orthopedics programs: Rush is ranked No. 5 in the nation for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report, with internationally respected orthopedic specialists whose research discoveries and innovative treatment approaches are helping patients at Rush — and around the globe.