Knots in muscles can be felt under the skin. They are frequently painful. Patients with myofascial pain or fibromyalgia are at increased risk of developing painful trigger points.

How is it done?
The doctor inserts a small needle into the muscle which is in spasm. A local anesthetic and a small amount of steroid are injected slowly. The spasm, which is due to overactive nerves to damaged muscle, is decreased. One to several of these injections usually gives good and lasting relief. It is possible to inject several trigger points at one time.

Trigger point injections are usually given in conjunction with other treatments. The injection will quiet the spasm and relieve pain. For maximum benefit it is important to stretch and exercise the muscle. The exercise and stretching will decrease the chance that the trigger point will return.

Physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, acupressure, and biofeedback have all been used to treat trigger points. Each can be helpful. When trigger points are severe, an injection can make the alternative therapy more effective.

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Last modified: 07/27/08