Trigger Point Injections
Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. The spots are painful on compression and can produce referred pain, referred tenderness, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena.
About 23 million persons, or 10 percent of the U.S. population, have one or more chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
- Musculoskeletal disorders are the main cause of disability in the working-age population and are among the leading causes of disability in other age groups.
- Myofascial pain syndrome is a common painful muscle disorder caused by myofascial trigger points. This must be differentiated from fibromyalgia syndrome, which involves multiple tender spots or tender points.
- These pain syndromes are often concomitant and may interact with one another.
The treatment consists of injecting a local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication into a localized area of muscle spasm and pain. The injections are used to break the cycle of muscle spasm and pain. The procedure usually involves little discomfort and can be repeated on an occasional basis. Most trigger-points are improved within 2 to 3 injections and best results are obtained by using some form of muscle therapy and strength training along with the injections.
TPI is used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches. The technique is also used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.