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Trigger Point Injections

A trigger point is a small area in a muscle that is very sensitive to touch, often causing intense pain. Injury, overexertion, muscle tension, and muscle spasms are common causes of these trigger points.

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What is it?

They most frequently occur in the neck, back, and shoulders. Injections can relax muscles and relieve pain by delivering medications directly to the trigger point.

While therapeutic modalities like ultrasound and manipulative therapy can be beneficial for some, trigger point injections are considered the most effective way to thwart a trigger point for prompt symptom relief. The injected medication usually consists of an anesthetic to relax the area and relieve pain. A steroid medication is sometimes included in the injection. Injections are usually followed by physical therapy aimed at pain relief and muscle flexibility.

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What to expect

First, a doctor will need to find the trigger point. This is done through a physical exam wherein the doctor examines the muscles for knotted areas. Imaging is not needed to diagnose a trigger point as they do not show up on x-rays or MRIs. However, if an underlying condition is the cause of the trigger point, then these tests can be helpful.

Receiving a trigger point injection typically only takes 5 minutes.

Desk with Stethoscope

Trigger Point Injections Explained


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