23 Jul Trigger Point Injections Relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain may be the result of small areas of muscle tightness or knots, also referred to as trigger points. These trigger points usually involve the trapezius muscle, rotator cuff muscles, deltoids, pectoralis and the latissimus dorsi.
A trigger point is a small area of muscle spasm (often felt as a nodule or tight band) that involves both the muscle and connective tissue or fascia between and around the muscle fibers. That is why trigger points may also be known as myofascial trigger points. Trigger points may be caused due to injury, overuse or poor posture.
Trigger points are usually irritated and painful. They may lack adequate blood supply. The trigger point pain commonly radiates in a pattern and can affect other regions too. For example, trigger points in the shoulder muscles can also cause a headache.
Trigger point treatment may involve physical therapy and trigger point injections. Massage to stimulate blood circulation may also help. In the TPI procedure, your doctor would inject a local anesthetic or saline, and sometimes a corticosteroid to deactivate the trigger point and alleviate pain. Injections are performed as an outpatient procedure and usually take only a few minutes.
Once the trigger points are deactivated, the muscle is stretched to improve its range of motion.