NY Spine Medicine

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Trigger Point Injections (TPI) for Pain Relief

Trigger point injections are commonly performed to treat painful areas that result from tight knots of muscles that fail to relax. Trigger point injections may be used to detect if hardware from a previous surgery is the cause of pain and should potentially be removed. 

Procedure Preparation

There is very little preparation for this procedure. In fact, you may decide to go ahead with this procedure during your initial consultation in our Midtown Manhattan outpatient clinic. The procedure will be fully explained to you before you decide to proceed.  

Please bring any previous imaging study results (MRI, CT, x-rays) such as films, reports, or CD-ROMs to your initial appointment. If you do not have current images, we may refer you to have them done prior to the procedure.

If you come by car, you will need a driver to take you home after your appointment. You will be able to go home unaccompanied via subway or taxi

Please notify our physician if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.

Please be prepared to discuss any medications that you are currently on with our physician, or bring you medication bottles with you to your appointment.

During the Procedure

A small needle is inserted into the painful area, or trigger point, using x-ray-guidance (fluoroscopy), and a local anesthetic (numbing medication) with or without a steroid (anti-inflammatory) is injected.

Injection of medication numbs the trigger point and thus alleviates pain.

Sustained relief usually is achieved with a brief course of treatment. The injection may cause a twitch or pain that lasts a few seconds to a few minutes.

After the Procedure

There is very little recovery time after this procedure. Many patients return to work the same day.

Numbness from the anesthetic may last about an hour and a bruise may form at the injection site.

Pain can be relieved by alternately applying moist heat and ice for a day or two.

A full course of physical therapy will help you to fully recover, strengthen your back and core muscles , and maximize your recovery.

Possible Side Effects

Although side effects from this procedure are rare, our physician will review any possibilities with you before your procedure.  Possible side effects include facial flushing, occasional low-grade fevers, hiccups, insomnia, headaches, water retention, increased appetite, increased heart rate, and abdominal cramping or bloating. These side effects occur in less than 5% of patients and usually disappear within 1-3 days after the injection.  If you experience any side effects, please feel free to contact us at any time