Trigger Point Injections
Why is this procedure done?
Trigger point injection is a method to inject local anesthetic and a steroid into a painful muscle that is felt to be causing a significant amount of your pain in an attempt to eliminate muscle spasm and pain.
How are trigger point injections done?
This procedure is typically performed in the office exam room. Occasionally this injection may be performed under x-ray .
The painful trigger point is identified by pushing on the painful muscle and marking the area with a pen.
A small needle is then used to inject a combination of steroid and local anesthetic into the trigger point. A small bandage is then applied to the site.
What are my risks? What are common complications?
Trigger point injections are extremely safe. However, all procedures have the possibility of complications such as bleeding, infection, allergic reactions and possible nerve injury. Another risk of an injection is a failure to improve, as there is no guarantee that your pain will be relieved. Rarely, an injection may temporarily increase your pain.
You may experience flushing of the face or increased hunger, increased pressure at the injection site, muscle cramping or hiccups.
It is possible to have increased blood pressure or blood sugar for up to two weeks following the injection.
Most patients do not experience typical side effects such as weight gain, hair loss or abnormal hair growth from injections like those patients who take oral steroids.
What do I need to know before the procedure?
Ensure you know the location where you are to have your procedure. We have offices in Carmel, Avon and Greenwood, but we also perform procedures in a few ambulatory surgery centers in the Indianapolis area.
You may take your regularly prescribed medications such as blood pressure, heart, diabetes and pain medications the day of your procedure.
General discharge instructions
You could feel dizzy or unsteady when you stand up. This can be normal. Take your time by rising slowly from a seated or lying position.
You can shower/bathe following your procedure unless told otherwise.
What should I expect while recovering?
Some injections may take 5 – 10 days before you have significant pain relief because the effect of the injected steroids is not immediate. For the first few days, there may be an increase in the pain until the steroids take effect.