What are Trigger Point Injections and How Effective Are They?


October 27, 2021

Muscle pain affects many people for numerous reasons, from sports or exercise-related injuries to bad sleeping positions. In most cases, muscle pain typically goes away after a few days of rest and at-home treatment. Individuals may seek out massage therapy or chiropractic care to address moderate muscle pain. However,  chronic muscle pain that interferes with your quality of life may require a more direct approach, such as trigger point injections.

What Are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are knots that form in the muscles after repeated trauma or injury to an area. Bad posture, repetitive motions, and untreated injuries are just a few of the known causes of trigger points. Muscle pain occurs when these trigger points put stress on the surrounding muscle fibers or when direct pressure is applied to them. Not much is known about the science behind why or how trigger points form, but much research has gone into learning how to treat them. Massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments can be effective in relieving some discomfort caused by trigger points. However, trigger point injections have been found to be one of the most effective treatments for those seeking immediate pain relief.

How They Work

Trigger point injections are a modality in which a medication is injected directly into the trigger points causing pain. The injections used will vary depending on the location and severity of discomfort, but they may include medications such as:

  • A local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, bupivacaine, or a combination of different anesthetics. These medications are known to block nerve pain stemming from trigger points and surrounding tissues.
  • A corticosteroid, either alone or combined with an anesthetic. Corticosteroids produce fast-acting pain relief by reducing muscle inflammation.
  • Botox, or botulinum toxin A, a newer advancement in trigger point injections. This medication offers long-term pain relief by eliminating muscle contractions at the injection site.

Trigger point injections can be applied anywhere on the body. These injections have been shown to treat everything from migraines to severe back pain and are a safe and effective approach to managing muscle pain.

Get the Most From Your Injections

Your care provider will help you determine how many injection appointments you will need to maintain relief from muscle pain. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent trigger points from returning after receiving trigger point injections. These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Receiving professional massage therapy
  • Maintaining good posture
  • Performing yoga or stretching exercises

At Southeast Pain & Spine Care, our board-certified physicians are highly trained in the fields of anesthesiology/neurology and pain management. We offer a variety of treatments and procedures that can help manage and prevent your pain. If you suffer from chronic muscle pain, fill out this form below to request an appointment and discover if trigger point injections are right for you.

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