Trigger Point Injection
Trigger Point Injection (TPI) for pain care is a medical procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points.
Trigger points are localized tender spots in the muscles often detected as lumps or “knots” which form when a muscle is injured or overly tense. Chronic inflammation in the muscle and physical/emotional stress all contribute to “knots” and formation of scar tissue which may be helped with TPIs (trigger point injection). These “knots” or trigger points can also form through time by the process of wear and tear on the muscle when normal, perpendicular muscle fibers get tangled and distorted out of their uniform pattern. Trigger points are felt as a taut band of inflamed muscle fiber and are painful when pressed. Many people who have trigger points may also have myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, or both.
During the TPI procedure, our health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient’s trigger point to inject Lydocaine which breaks up dense muscle fiber and relax muscle spasms. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive, and the pain is alleviated without the dangerous side effects of cortisone. The trigger point injection will stimulate healing as the circulation is increased into the deeper layer muscle fibers, and they can once again return to a uniform pattern.
TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the neck, upper back, rotator cuff, and lower back. It can also be used for tendonitis, bursitis, or joint pain in the arms and legs. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches. TPI is also used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.
People tend to respond much more quickly when TPIs are done in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. This has been found to yield better results than with TPI or acupuncture alone. Injections are performed at Blue Ridge Acupuncture & Integrative Health and usually takes just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit. It depends on the individual case. Some people’s pain will resolve after their first visit, but usually it will take 8-12 visits.