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Trigger Point Injection

Date issued: April 2020

For review: April 2022

Ref:  B-446/SW/Pain management/Trigger point injection

PDF:  Trigger point injection [pdf] 89KB

What is a trigger point injection?

  • This is an injection of local anaesthetic with/without steroid to a particularly painful point in your body. 
  • A trigger point injection may help to reduce the level of your pain.

 

Why are you receiving the injection?

The doctor in the pain clinic has decided to offer you this treatment because it might help to decrease the amount of pain you are feeling.

 

How does it work?

Local anaesthetics and steroid reduce the pain in the area of the injection helping to both turn off the sensitivity of the nerves in that area and decrease any chronic inflammation.

 

What are the side-effects of steroids?

  • There are effects on the rest of the body using steroids but these are minimal if used cautiously.
  • Temporary side effects from the steroids are raised blood pressure and increased sugar levels in diabetics.
  • Prolonged side effects, usually if steroids are used repeatedly, include bone fractures, stomach irritation and bleeding, and reduced ability to fight infection.

 

What does the treatment involve?

A trigger point injection is performed as a day case procedure. On the day of treatment please take all your routine medications.

If you are taking any medication to thin the blood, such as Warfarin, Clopidogrel, Rivaroxaban, Dabigatran  or you have a blood clotting disorder please inform your pain consultant or the pain nurse prior to attending for your injection as your medication may need to be stopped before the injection to prevent bleeding.

You must fast unless otherwise advised. You will be seen by one of the pain consultants who will explain the treatment and answer any questions that you may have.

You will need to lie or sit in an appropriate position to allow the doctor to do the procedure.  The skin over the area of your trigger point will be cleaned with antiseptic and the injection will then be given.

There may be some discomfort at the time of the injection. Several trigger points may be injected in the same session. You may have small plasters to cover the injection sites, which may be removed after 24 hours but do not worry if they should fall off sooner.

 

What should I expect immediately after the injection?

You may feel as though the area that has been injected is a little bruised after the injection and also you may experience an increase in the level of your pain for a few days. This is normal, but it will quickly resolve and you can continue to take your normal painkillers for pain that you have.

A small percentage of patients may experience an increased level of pain for much longer.

Depending on where the trigger point injection is in the body there may be different risks and this will be discussed with you prior to the injection.

 

Following the procedure

It is advisable that you take a short time to rest following the injection and you may feel it necessary to go home and rest.  This procedure may affect your ability to drive.  Please exercise caution and drive only if your feel you are able

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