In a trigger point injection procedure, a health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient’s trigger point with administer one of four treatments:
Most trigger points go away after one injection but may come back, depending on what caused them. That is especially true for trigger points from chronic pain conditions or repetitive motion. For recurring trigger points, you may need additional injections.
Once a trigger point has been located and the overlying skin has been cleansed with alcohol, the clinician isolates that point with a pinch between the thumb and index finger or between the index and middle finger, whichever is most comfortable.
Using sterile technique, the needle is then inserted 1 to 2 cm away from the trigger point so that the needle may be advanced into the trigger point at an acute angle of 30 degrees to the skin. The stabilizing fingers apply pressure on either side of the injection site, ensuring adequate tension of the muscle fibers to allow penetration of the trigger point but preventing it from rolling away from the advancing needle.10 The application of pressure also helps to prevent bleeding within the subcutaneous tissues and the subsequent irritation to the muscle that the bleeding may produce.
When areas of muscle that have become tight and inflamed, often a tender knot or tight band forms at the spot.
Trigger points can be caused by a variety of conditions, including the following: