Chronic pain disorders such as myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, and tension headaches might benefit from trigger point injections. A doctor gives the injections are given directly into the afflicted muscle. A local anesthetic, a corticosteroid, or botulinum toxin A may be used in the injection. For some patients, trigger point injections can give instant pain relief, while for others, the therapy may have no effect. To determine whether this treatment is right for you, or to discuss the trigger point injections cost, we recommend speaking with a pain management specialist.
At The Pain Relief Center, we understand that chronic pain is frustrating. You’re trying to live your life and do the things you love, but debilitating pain makes it difficult. Our Dallas pain management doctors offer a broad range of treatments for pain. Some options include caudal steroid injections, ankle injections, and much more. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, please call 214-709-1904 or fill out our online intake form today.
What Are Trigger Point Injections?
TPIs, or trigger point injections, are a therapeutic option for certain individuals who are suffering from pain. This method is common for treating painful muscular regions with trigger points, which are muscle knots that develop when the muscle cannot relax correctly. You can usually feel these knots underneath the surface of the skin. Trigger points can irritate nearby nerves, resulting in referred pain, which is pain felt elsewhere in the body.
A small needle with a local anesthetic or a corticosteroid is inserted into the trigger point by the healthcare expert. The discomfort is relieved by putting the trigger point into an idle state. Injections are usually given at a doctor’s office and take only a few minutes to administer. In order to treat numerous pain concerns at the same time, doctors may need to inject needles into multiple locations. Fibromyalgia, tension headaches, and myofascial pain syndrome are among chronic pain disorders that may benefit from this approach.
Trigger point injections use the following substances.
- Local anesthetics, like lidocaine, that block pain receptors in the muscles
- Corticosteroids that reduce inflammation in muscles and connective tissues surrounding the nerves
- Botulinum toxin, or Botox, which prevents muscle spasms by disrupting the nerve signaling pathways
How Is a Trigger Point Injection Performed?
The trigger point injection generally happens at the doctor’s office, with the patient laying on his or her stomach on the exam table or sitting on the exam table. The procedure is different depending on the situation. By physical probing, the health-care expert conducting the treatment locates the trigger point and marks it. Ultrasound guidance is not always necessary. After that, the doctor cleanses the injection site. Cleaning the injection site with alcohol or another skin cleaner such as betadine is common. To numb the skin and make the initial injection less uncomfortable, your doctor will likely use a numbing spray such as ethyl chloride.
They then administer the medicine once they insert the needle into the trigger site. You receive a simple temporary bandage after the injection. Ice, heat, acetaminophen, or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium may be used if the region is uncomfortable following the injection.
What Are the Uses for Trigger Point Injections?
Trigger point injections may help alleviate pain caused by musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders like those listed below.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disease that affects the muscles and their surrounding tissue. Trigger point injections may help reduce symptoms. Trigger points in myofascial pain syndrome cause pain reactions in seemingly unconnected regions of the body. Referred pain is the term for this occurrence. Trigger point injections relax the afflicted muscles, reducing localized muscular pain, and studies suggest the injections disrupt the nerve signaling pathways that produce referred pain.
Causes of myofascial pain syndrome include the following possibilities.
- Trauma or injury to the muscles
- Repetitive motions that cause injury over time
- Poor posture
- Psychological stress
Along with referred pain, those experiencing myofascial pain syndrome might also experience the following.
- Pain in a specific part of the muscle
- Pain which intensifies when the patient stretches or moves the muscle
- Knots in the muscle that patients feel by touch
- Weakness or stiffness in the muscle
- Limited range of motion
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that has some of the same symptoms as arthritis but affects the soft tissues rather than the joints.
Unfortunately, doctors still do not understand the exact cause for fibromyalgia. However, possible risk factors include the following.
- Autoimmune disorder history, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Psychological or physical trauma
- Family medical history of fibromyalgia
Symptoms of this condition include the following.
- Stiffness or pain throughout the body
- Tingling or numbness in the feet and hands
- Problems with digestion
- Fatigue in the daytime and poor sleeping
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Displaying symptoms of anxiety or depression
Doctors used to diagnose fibromyalgia in individuals who complained of pain or sensitivity in specific trigger sites all over their bodies. Unlike myofascial pain syndrome, which is characterized by localized muscle pain, fibromyalgia is characterized by generalized discomfort. This implies that fibromyalgia pain is caused by neurological issues that impair the brain’s ability to interpret sensory data. However, myofascial trigger points and fibromyalgia have comparable pain profiles, and some researchers suspect that myofascial trigger points play a role in fibromyalgia.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, trigger points in the shoulders, neck, and head can lead to migraine and tension headache problems. The existence of myofascial trigger points was compared in 20 physiotherapy students with chronic migraines and 20 healthy persons without migraines in a 2014 study. The migraine group had a considerably larger number of myofascial trigger sites, according to the researchers.
The link between myofascial trigger points and pressure pain tolerance in patients with intermittent or chronic tension headaches was investigated by the authors of a 2016 research. People who had more myofascial trigger points were more susceptible to pressure discomfort than those who had less. The data show that the severity of these headaches is influenced by myofascial trigger points.
Do Trigger Point Injections Work?
For those with persistent muscular discomfort, trigger point injections may provide instant pain relief and increased range of motion. These injections, however, do not have the same effect on everyone. Some patients report considerable pain relief right after the injections, while others report that it takes many days or weeks for their discomfort to subside. Trigger point injections are ineffective for some patients.
The effects of these injections on patients with abdominal muscular discomfort were studied by researchers in a modest 2019 study. Two years following the initial injection, the subjects reported considerable pain reductions. Five of the individuals needed a second injection, while another showed no reaction to the therapy. Despite the fact that trigger point injections may have considerable advantages for certain patients, some studies have concluded that this therapy is unsuccessful.
Side Effects of Trigger Point Injections
The following are some of the immediate and long-term adverse effects of trigger point injections.
- Temporary numbness or pain surrounding the injection site
- Dimpling or discoloration of the skin near the injection site
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
In addition, anesthetic-based trigger point injections can result in myonecrosis, a severe kind of muscle injury. This might take 3–4 weeks to recover. After a few hours, pain, swelling, and soreness at the injection site generally subside. Contact your doctor if any adverse effects do not go away within a few weeks.
What Do Trigger Point Injections Cost?
The cost of a trigger point injection depends on the practitioner you choose, the number of shots you receive per session, and your location. The cost of just the injections alone, without insurance, can range from $250 to $450. This does not cover any extra testing that may be necessary.
While your health insurance coverage may fund it in certain cases, it’s crucial to check with your provider ahead of time to find out precisely what will be covered. This is because expenses, even when covered, can vary significantly. If you have insurance, regardless of your plan, you should save a lot of money compared to the previous estimations.
Contact The Pain Relief Center Today
At The Pain Relief Center, our Dallas pain specialists handle a wide variety of conditions and causes for your pain. We employ only top-of-the-line treatment techniques in pursuit of getting you back to doing what you love. When pain gets you down, we’re here to help. To schedule a consultation with one of our pain management professionals, please call 214-709-1904 or fill out our online intake form today.