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Pain Treatments

Thoracic Trigger Point Injection

Thoracic Trigger Point Injection

The thoracic spinal muscles are important in helping to maintain healthy posture while sitting and standing. It is common for these muscles to go into spasm with prolonged sitting at a computer work station or activities that require standing for long periods. A trigger point injection is an injection performed to help reduce small areas of involuntary muscle spasm in the piriformis that produce pain and/or limitations in movement and activities.

The doctor will numb the skin above the muscle spasm. Then, guided by feel or ultrasound, he will:

  • Insert a thin needle into the muscle using a technique called “peppering”, which is where the needle is moved rapidly and around the inside of the area of muscle spasm.
  • Inject a mixture of anesthetic (for temporary pain relief)

The medicines help to block the pain signal, like turning off a light switch. Usually, the procedure takes less than five minutes and you can go home the same day.

Some patients report pain relief within the first few hours after the injection, but pain may return later that day as the local anesthetic wears off. Longer-term relief is obtained when this kind of procedure is performed in conjunction with some form of manual therapy, such as osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation or physical therapy measures.

How long the pain relief lasts varies person to person. For some, the relief lasts several months or longer. If the treatment works for you, you can have periodic injections to stay pain-free.

The risk of a complication from trigger point injections is very low. Rarely, complications include bleeding or infection at the injection site, which is unusual for a trigger point injection. Most of the time, these effects resolve within a few hours.

Do not do any rigorous activity for the first day after your trigger point injection. Take it easy. You can return to your normal activities the next day. Do not drive the day of the injection if you have had any form of anesthesia.

You may continue your regular diet and medications immediately.

In some cases, it may take several injections to achieve the desired results. If you don’t feel better within the first two weeks, see your doctor to discuss different treatment options.

Not sure what treatment options are best for you?  Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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