Trigger point Injections

Trigger Point Injections by Dr. Vivek Loomba


Trigger points happen when the tissue surrounding the muscle called fascia or myofascial contracts and sticks together. It develops as a “knot” in the specific muscle area causing pain under the skin. These trigger points result from acute trauma or repetitive micro-trauma causing the muscle fiber to stress. 

When is Trigger Point Injection used?

Trigger Point Injections (TPIs) can help in treating Myofascial, Fibromyalgia, and Tension headaches medical conditions as well as chronic pain, especially around neck, leg, arms, and lower back pain. 

It is also used to improve the overall body functionality caused by the above symptoms such as –

  • Poor posture
  • Injury to the muscle
  • Poor mechanics that lead to stress on the muscle
  • Joint disorders

TPIs work by providing relaxation to the muscle fibers with the breaking up of the knots. This can also contribute to relief from chronic pain by improving the range of motion. TPI is commonly used with local anesthetic injections such as corticosteroids, and botulinum toxin, or without any injection substance by medical practitioners.

What happens during the Trigger Point injection Procedure?

The procedure will be performed in the doctor’s office. During the trigger point injection procedure, you will also be asked to lie down on a table.

Your doctor will then clean the area where the injection will be given with an antiseptic solution. A small needle will be used to inject the medication into the trigger point. You may feel a brief sting when the needle enters your skin.

The medication used in trigger point injections can vary. It may be a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, or it may be a corticosteroid. The type of medication used will depend on the severity of your condition and your doctor’s preference choice.

With the injection, you will likely feel relief from your pain within a few minutes. The local anesthetic usually wears off after several hours, but the steroid can take up to several days to fully take effect. Often a course of repetitive treatment is required for sustained pain relief.

Alternatives to Trigger Point Injections

There are a number of alternatives to trigger point injections for pain management that include:

  1. Acupuncture – This ancient Chinese practice involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body for providing pain relief. It is effective in treating a variety of conditions, including both acute pain and chronic pain.
  2. Massage – Massage therapy can help in relieving muscle tension and tissue pain. It can also be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies for better efficacy.
  3. Physical therapy – Physical therapy can help in strengthening muscles and improving the range of motion, which can significantly reduce your pain after some repetitive therapeutical treatments.
  4. Chiropractic care – Chiropractic adjustments reduces pain by restoring proper alignment to the spine and other affected joints.
  5. Yoga – Yoga is an excellent way to stretch and strengthen muscles helping in improving the flexibility of your body by also acting as a pain reliever.

Risks Associated With Trigger Point Injections

Chronic pain is incredibly daunting as it stops people from living their lives to the fullest. Luckily, there are treatments available that can help. Trigger point injections are one such treatment that can provide relief for those suffering from chronic pain.

However, every medical procedure comes with certain risks and complications. There are also risks associated with trigger point injections that include:

  • Infection – Anytime a needle is inserted into the skin, there is a risk of infection. To help reduce this risk, the injection site will be cleaned thoroughly before the procedure.
  • Bleeding or bruising – There is also a risk of bleeding or bruising at the injection site. This is usually minor and will resolve on its own within a few days.
  • Pain at the injection site – Some people may experience pain at the injection site during or after the procedure. This pain is usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Allergic reaction – In rare cases, people may have an allergic reaction to the medication used in the trigger point injection. However, some symptoms of an allergic reaction that one can acquire include hives, swelling, and difficulty in breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms it is recommended to seek medical attention immediately to avoid further risks.


Trigger point injections can be an effective treatment for chronic pain. With a combination of corticosteroids and local anesthetics, they are beneficial to reduce inflammation and minimize muscle tension in the affected area. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, it is advisable to talk with your doctor about trigger point injections as a safe and non-invasive way to manage pain and unnecessary discomfort in your daily life. You may also find that with proper guidance and regular treatments from your healthcare professionals, you will finally be able to say goodbye to your chronic pain once and for all!