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Trigger Point Injections vs. Epidural Steroid Injections: Understanding the Difference

Trigger Point Injections vs. Epidural Steroid Injections

Alleviate your chronic pain by calling (347) 602-9530 for compassionate neurological treatment. 

Is dealing with chronic muscle pain leaving you tired and taking away from living life to its fullest? You could benefit from trigger point injections with Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C. As a trusted neurologist in NYC, they provide compassionate and effective care.

If you’re wondering, “What are trigger point injections?” keep reading to discover everything you should know to decide whether this treatment may be right for you.

What Are Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger points are small knots in your muscles and soft tissue. They often result in chronic pain like muscle aches and tenderness that can detract from your quality of life. 

Healthgrades.com estimates that, at any given time, around 10% of people experience trigger points. And according to the Cleveland Clinic, around 85% of people will experience the pain at some point in their life.

Trigger point injections use a small needle, usually filled with steroids, to alleviate tense muscles. Because it’s injected directly into the source of pain, it has quick and effective results while remaining minimally invasive.

How Trigger Point Injections Differ From Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural steroid injections use a similar process and medications, but the needle goes into your spine rather than the muscles around your body. Epidural steroid injections treat neurological pain caused by spinal cord inflammation, which usually differs from the conditions that respond well to trigger point injections.

What Do Trigger Point Injections Treat?

Healthcare professionals use trigger point injections to treat the following conditions:

  • Lower back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Herniated discs
  • Radiculopathy

What Are the Benefits of Trigger Point Injections?

When scheduling trigger point injections, you gain a wealth of benefits that can improve your quality of life compared with other forms of treatment.

Minimally Invasive

Because they involve injections, trigger point treatments aren’t pain-free, but they are minimally invasive. The needle doesn’t leave lasting damage, and you won’t need stitches for recovery.

You might feel some discomfort while the provider finds the trigger point and a brief stinging sensation when the practitioner inserts a small needle. Thankfully, the local anesthetic quickly eliminates any pain.

Few Side Effects

Trigger point injections have a few possible minor side effects, and many people don’t experience any adverse results. Potential side effects include:

  • Bloating and stomach or pelvic pain as a reaction to the medicine
  • Minor and temporary pain or tenderness at the site of the injection, which usually abates after a few hours
  • Temporary muscle damage, called myonecrosis, which usually heals after three or four weeks

Fast Relief

Trigger point injections offer faster pain relief than most other forms of treatment. Many patients experience immediate relief from their chronic pain, and the in-patient treatment usually takes about a half hour. Depending on your treatment area, you may require someone to drive you home from the appointment; otherwise, you won’t require a recovery period.

Holistic Healing

When you’re not constantly using your mental and emotional energy to endure chronic pain, you can start engaging in more holistic methods of pain management. Whether using the mind-body connection to ease pain or investing in more frequent massages, you can start managing your pain more completely.

What Happens During a Trigger Point Injection?

Trigger Point Injection

What happens when you schedule a trigger point injection with Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C.?

1. Schedule an Appointment

When you schedule an appointment with our healthcare providers, you’ll immediately notice the level of professionalism and customer service. We’ll schedule a time that works for you so you can receive the necessary treatment.

2. Preparation

To ensure you’re a good candidate for trigger point injections, the provider will ask you questions about your current health and medical history. They’ll ensure you don’t have any conditions that could prevent you from receiving steroid injections, such as a bleeding disorder. After gathering all the required information, they can determine whether you’d most benefit from a trigger point injection or some other form of treatment like an epidural steroid injection.

3. Treatment

During treatment, the practitioner will ask you to lie or sit at a table, depending on what part of your body receives the injection. The provider will clean the skin at the site of the injection.

The practitioner will insert the small needle into the trigger point and gently move it around until the muscle relaxes. With some trigger points, you won’t need steroids or medicine, and the dry needle is enough to relax the muscle and relieve pain.

They’ll remove the needle and stop any bleeding with a cotton swab and Band-Aid.

4. Follow Up

Your relief should last about a month, and once it returns, contact your provider for another treatment.

Trigger Point Injections With Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C.

If you think you’d benefit from trigger point injections, reach out to Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C. today. From answering questions about the role of a neurologist to providing compassionate and effective care for many conditions, you’ll always feel important, cared for, and comfortable.

Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available. To book an appointment, call (347) 602-9530.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most common questions about trigger point injections.

How Long Do Trigger Point Injections Last?

The pain relief from trigger point injections lasts an average of 30 days. The frequency of the treatments and severity of your condition can affect how long the relief lasts.

What Drugs Do Trigger Point Injections Use?

The drugs used for a trigger point injection include a local anesthetic like lidocaine and a steroid, such as triamcinolone.

What Is the Success Rate of Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections have around a 75% success rate, according to multiple sources.

Who Should Avoid Trigger Point Injections?

You should avoid trigger point injections if you:

  • Have allergies to local anesthetics
  • Have a blood clotting or bleeding disorder
  • Use anticoagulants
  • Experience psychiatric disturbances

About The Author

Ashwin Malhotra, M.D.

Ashwin Malhotra, M.D.

Ashwin Malhotra, M.D. is a highly respected neurologist based in New York City. With over 20 years of experience in the field of neurology, he has earned a reputation as a leading expert in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and traumatic brain injuries. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Malhotra is also a dedicated educator and researcher. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and has presented his research at national and international conferences.

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