A trigger point may only affect a small area of muscle, yet that one tiny spot can trigger significant pain and limit your movement. The doctors at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona (PISA) provide trigger point injections that relax the muscle and reduce inflammation, giving you immediate and long-term relief. To have your muscle pain evaluated or to learn more about trigger point injections, call one of the offices throughout Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Safford, Benson and Willcox, Arizona, or use the online booking feature. You can also visit Regional Pain Institute in Apache Junction, San Tan Valley, and Gilbert, Arizona, a division of the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona.
A trigger point is a tight knot that develops in a muscle or the fascia, which is the connective tissues covering your muscles and organs. You can develop a single trigger point, or several knots, along a band of muscles. If your trigger point causes chronic pain, the condition is called myofascial pain syndrome.
There are two types of trigger points:
Active trigger points are very sensitive and painful, often causing pain even when you’re resting. You may also develop muscle weakness, limited movement, and referred pain, which is pain that’s felt elsewhere in your body when the trigger point is pressed. Pressure on the trigger point may also cause an automatic muscle twitch.
Latent trigger points may hurt when you press on the knotted area, but they’re less painful than active trigger points.
Trigger points are usually caused by:
Although trigger points most often develop due to overusing or placing excessive stress on your muscles, they can also occur if you stay inactive for too long.
A trigger point injection contains a local anesthetic like lidocaine, a steroid, or both, depending on the severity of your pain. The local anesthetic blocks pain signals, providing immediate relief. Steroids alleviate pain by reducing inflammation. It takes several days to feel the effect of steroids, but they provide longer-lasting relief.
During a trigger point injection, your doctor finds the trigger point, and may apply a topical anesthetic on the skin above the knotted muscle. Then the needle is inserted into the trigger point and the medication is injected. If the trigger point doesn’t fully relax after one injection, your doctor may slightly reposition the needle and deliver another injection.
You don’t need to take downtime after your injection, but your doctor may recommend avoiding strenuous physical activities for a few days.
To learn if a trigger point injection will help your pain, call the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona (PISA) or request an appointment online.