Trigger Point Injections

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MYOFASCIAL PAIN SYNDROME – TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS
What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a common cause of soft tissue pain. MPS can occur
primarily, or can present as a reactive component to other conditions. The primary feature
of MPS is the trigger point, a localized, tender, and firm or taut region within muscles or
their fascia. These are thought to arise from trauma or microtrauma to the area that
causes the muscle fibers to shorten. When shortened for a prolonged period, the muscle
fibers become sore, tender, and even develop firm/crunchy knots due to calcium deposits.
Patients with MPS can also develop central sensitization, a state of increased pain
perception resulting from increased gain of the painful signals.
What is the treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Treatment of MPS focuses on the deactivation of the trigger points themselves as well as
addressing any causative factors. Eliminating trigger points to break the cycle that
enhances chronic pain and to restore normal tone and function of the affected muscles is
the overarching goal. Trigger Point Injections (TPIs) have been widely used to facilitate
this process and are the gold standard for the treatment of MPS. Relying on TPIs as sole
treatment is not recommended – they should be used in conjunction with post-injection
stretching or exercise therapy as part of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary pain
management regimen.
What are Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger Point Injections (TPIs) have been widely used to facilitate this process and are
the gold standard for the treatment of MPS. They are relatively safe when performed by
clinicians with appropriate training.
What should I expect during Trigger Point Injections?
During the Trigger Point Injection procedure, the doctor will identify the trigger points
by feeling them. After cleaning the area with an alcohol swab, the doctor will place a thin
needle into the trigger point and move it around to break up the knot. As the doctor is
moving the needle around, he or she will inject numbing medicine into the area.
What should I do after the Trigger Point Injections?
Post-injection stretching, kneading, and movement are an important part of the procedure.
The patient should plan to go home or to physical therapy in order to get the maximum
benefit from the procedure.

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