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- Patient Comments: Trigger Point Injection - Side Effects
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- Trigger point injection (TPI) facts
- What is a trigger point?
- What is a trigger point injection? What medications may be in a trigger point injection?
- What types of doctors administer trigger point injections?
- How is the trigger point injection procedure performed? What technique is used to administer a trigger point injection?
- When is a trigger point injection used?
- What are complications and side effects of trigger point injections?
- How frequently do trigger point injections need to be administered?
What is a trigger point injection? What medications may be in a trigger point injection?
A trigger point injection (TPI) is an injection that is given directly into the trigger point for pain management. The injection may be an anesthetic such as lidocaine (Xylocaine) or bupivacaine (Marcaine), a mixture of anesthetics, or a corticosteroid (cortisone medication) alone or mixed with lidocaine. Sometimes, a needle alone is inserted into the trigger point, and no medication is injected. This may be helpful and is referred to as "dry needling." With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is relieved.
What types of doctors administer trigger point injections?
Trigger point injections are frequently administered by rheumatologists, pain-management doctors, and physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors. Some internists, family practice doctors, generalists, and neurologists perform trigger point injections.
How is the trigger point injection procedure performed? What technique is used to administer a trigger point injection?
The trigger point injection is performed in the health-care professional's office, usually with the patient either lying on the exam table on the stomach or sitting on the exam table. The exact technique varies. The health-care professional performing the procedure locates the trigger point by manual palpation and marks the site. Ultrasound guidance is not generally necessary. The injection site is then cleaned. Alcohol or another skin cleanser such as betadine is commonly used to clean the injection site. Frequently, a numbing spray such as ethyl chloride is used to anesthetize the skin and make the actual injection less painful. The needle is then inserted into the trigger point and the medication is injected. After the injection, a simple adhesive bandage may be applied. If the area is painful after the injection, ice, heat, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium may be used.