What Can I Expect with Trigger Point Injections for My Neck Pain?

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What Can I Expect with Trigger Point Injections for My Neck Pain?

Myofascial trigger points, or muscle knots, can follow hard work or exercise. They may persist, so you need treatment to resolve pain. Trigger point injections are a fast and effective way to deal with muscle knots causing neck pain.

You’ve probably had an aching problem from time to time that you likely call muscle knots. These often follow hard work or perhaps sports participation and workouts. Sometimes, it’s easy to feel a tangible lump of tissue and tenderness at the location of the pain. 

Medically, we call these myofascial trigger points. You can tell you have one when pressing on the sore spot creates local pain and a sensation away from that spot. This effect, called referred pain, could be some distance away. 

When you have active trigger points in your neck, you might feel symptoms extend into your arms, shoulders, or upper back. 

While rest and modest care may bring relief in a few days, sometimes trigger points persist, producing ongoing discomfort along with mobility issues and stiffness. In this case, you might need medical treatment to resolve pain.

Trigger point injections can be a fast and effective way to deal with muscle knots causing neck pain. 

We specialize in trigger point injections at Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management, offering our patients relief from the effects of stubborn muscle knots at each of our Iowa locations. 

The source of myofascial trigger points

It’s thought that injury and overuse are the biggest contributing factors to myofascial trigger points. A thin, slippery tissue called fascia surrounds virtually every muscle group, particularly those that move in different directions than their neighbors. 

Typically, fascia allows these muscles to slide effortlessly across each other. When a trigger point forms, fascia becomes sticky and ineffective in this role. A type of scar tissue builds up into the muscle knot characteristic of a trigger point. 

Unbalanced form, tension, and other stresses might also contribute to trigger point formation. 

Trigger point injections

Some people use massage to work out myofascial trigger points manually. That can work if the trigger point is near the surface and accessible. When it comes to trigger points in the neck, meeting these conditions for self-treatment may be difficult. 

When a trigger point persists, we sometimes turn to a treatment that uses a fine needle to inject fluid into the trigger point. This minor, controlled trauma often stimulates a new healing response, and we often augment this with additional medication. 

Injecting corticosteroids into the trigger point delivers a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that reduces swelling in the area around the injection. We may add a local anesthetic for immediate pain relief. 

What can you expect with trigger point injections for neck pain? 

We first confirm your pain traces back to a myofascial knot and not from another injury that might require a different treatment. Once identified, treating a trigger point is quick and easy. 

The levator scapulae, rhomboid, and trapezius muscles are the most common locations around the neck for trigger points to form. We can treat multiple trigger points at the same time since the treatment involves a simple injection. 

You may feel relief soon after your injection, though it sometimes takes a day or two before you find lasting relief. A trigger point injection usually keeps you comfortable in the time it takes for the healing response to restore the fascial tissue. 

Trigger point injections offer an effective low-risk treatment requiring only a short visit. Contact the nearest office of Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management, in West Des Moines or East Des Moines, Iowa, to schedule your exam and injection. Call or book online today.