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Trigger point injections - can anyone give insight?

DNiceDDNice Posts: 1,962
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Chronic Pain
So, I went to a physiatrist 4 weeks ago.
He felt he could get me lower pain at night and upon getting up with just PT (new stretches, massage, tens, strength).

It seems I'm holding 'steady'. I know 4 weeks isn't much time. I asked my PT if he felt I was making progress since I have a follow up with the Physiatrist this week.

He said I'm making progress but it's slow and my facet (?) muscles are really tight and have been for some time. He said the doctor might recommend trigger point injections but only if it was something I was comfortable with.

I've been trying to read on these. Are they ESI? or are they more like botox in the muscle? I'm really confused.

I realize the doctor will explain them if they make sense. but wanted to get a jump start. I assume they will do them right into the trigger points that are causing a great deal of pain when they try to massage.

What are they?
Does anyone have any articles?
Are they painful? Do they work? What do I need to be worried about in regards to side-effects?



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    They are probably the easiest of all injections. I have had 50 or more in the last 8 years. They can be done in a doctor's office and I have had up to 8 at one time.

    They basically freeze the area they are going to inject, and the injection itself is like a lidocaine injection which serves to numb the area and make it not as painful.

    The object is is that , the rest-period may be enough to jump start you to the next better level.

    I dont have full access to a computer right now, but just go to the main Spine-Health site, under treatments and select injections.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks Ron...I just found the injections section of the forum. Go figure, I'm broadening to a new area!

    Thanks for the quick info. You have given me some stress relief just by your post.

    I'll check out the spine health treatments to read up there.

    I'll let you know what the dr. says later this week.
  • I've had a trigger point injection before. I, too, had no idea what they were and looked sideways at the physician. He was new to me since I had just moved. Pain can cause your muscles to tense up and even get knotted. The TPI is intended to release that knot and relax your muscles. It's kind of like pain on top of pain, ya know? You're joints hurt, which makes you tense, which puts muscle pain on top of joint pain.

    For me, the TPI worked as intended. The doc injected a little bit of lidocaine, as Ron mentioned, but these can be done with just a needle as well. They're just meant to relax the tight muscle or knot. Unfortunately, I still had the underlying disc herniation that caused the knot in the first place. So while I did get some relief, it wasn't a lot. A steroid injection followed in a few weeks which gave me the relief I needed.

    FYI: useless and only important to me, probably, information.... in the end, I went back to the doctor I had been seeing for years, even though it was now a 40 mile drive instead of 15, plus the already 40 miles to work I commute (usually train) for a total of 80 instead of 55. But I was already commuting the 40 to/from work, so figured it was well worth the extra mileage just to see the doctor that has been so good to me.
  • Hey there, thanks for sharing.
    I have to call the dr. in the morning.
    I guess I was surprised when he said he'd numb the area with lidocaine but that the injection would be more just a needle like acupuncture.

    Anyhow, I feel better about it. It seems if they don't work after 2 tries, they probably won't.

    I do think I'll cal my GP or NS to make sure they are comfortable with it. The doctor administering them is the Physiatrist and I guess I just don't have the relationship with him just yet to totally trust him.
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