A Trigger point injection (TPI) may be an option for treating painful, tight muscle spasms in some patients. TPI is a procedure that is used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body. Often one, or a series of trigger point injections are used to successfully stop the cycle of pain/spasm and bring great relief.
In the TPI procedure, a professional inserts a small needle into the patient's trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic or saline, and may include a corticosteroid. Injections are given in a doctor's office and usually take just a few minutes. Depending on the area to be injected, and the patient's body make up, ultrasound guidance can be used to increase the accuracy of the treatment. We have found this to be a key element in the success in the TPI we provide to our patients. Several sites may be injected in one visit. If a patient has an allergy to a certain drug or is pregnant, a dry-needle technique (involving no medications) can be used.