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Trigger Point Injection

Trigger point injection can help relieve tender muscle areas that are painful to the touch.

The injection is made using a small amount of local anesthetic (numbing medication) and/or a steroid (anti-inflammatory) into the area of pain.

The local anesthetic will numb the area, relieve the pain and decrease the muscle spasm, while the steroid will decrease inflammation.

Patient guidelines (PDF) ›

Procedure overview (PDF) ›

What is the goal of a trigger point injection?

The goal of a trigger point injection is to provide pain relief so that you are able to resume normal activities.

Should I limit my activity or change my diet after the injection?

No. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you may return to your usual activities and resume your normal diet immediately after the injection.

Are there any side effects caused by trigger point injection?

You should call your pain physician if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Redness, swelling, bleeding or discharge from the injection site.
  • A fever greater than 100 degrees or chills.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath or persistent cough.

What are the medications used for trigger point injection?

Trigger point injections are done with a mixture of different medications given for specific reasons.

  • Lidocaine or bupivacaine, are local anesthetics which is used to numb the area of injection; this numbness usually wears off within two to six hours
  • Triamcinolone (Kenalog), a steroid which is used to treat inflammation and pain. The effects of this steroid may take up to 10 days to appear

When should I call my doctor?

You should call us immediately if any of the following occur:

  • If you experience any swelling, redness, bleeding or discharge from the site of the injection.
  • If you have a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you experience new or worsening back or neck pain.
  • If you experience a new numbness or weakness in your arms or legs.
  • If you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath or persistent cough.
To be seen by one of our specialists, call 949-UCI-PAIN (949-824-7246) or request an appointment online ›
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To reach a doctor or nurse during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), call 949-824-7246 and leave a message. Your call will be returned within 12 business hours.

After business hours or on weekends: call the main hospital at 714-456-7890 and ask the hospital operator to contact the doctor on call by paging 3386.