Trigger Point Injections
A trigger point is a spot in the body that has been damaged and scarred such that irritating it causes pain in several other parts of the body.
Trigger points lead to an increase in muscle stiffness and tenderness and a decrease in range-of-motion. In addition, the discomfort from trigger points can radiate from the adhesion. This is called referred pain and the most common pathways are shown in the image below.
The inside of the body is covered with soft tissue called fascia. This tissue covers every structure including organs, muscles, nerves and blood vessels. The fascia that covers your muscles is call myofascia. When the myofascia is stressed from overuse or trauma it can tear and adhere together. These adhesions are called “trigger points” and can prevent the muscles from working well.
Trigger points can occur anywhere that has suffered an impact injury, including whiplash. Trigger points are common in fibromyalgia patients.
How are Trigger Point Injections used?
TPI’s are used to treat many muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia, muscle spasms and tension headaches. The technique is also used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments.