A trigger point injection is injecting a small amount of local anesthetic and sometimes a steroid medication into the area of a muscle where you have pain or tenderness.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
- You MUST have someone with you to drive home.
- You may have clear liquids after midnight until 2 hours before your appointment and the nothing to eat or drink. Clear liquids include Jell-O, broth, 7-Up, tea, coffee and apple juice. No milk or milk products. You may take all your normal medications, including pain medication with a sip of water.
- If you are diabetic or have a bleeding disorder or take medications such as Coumadin, Lovenox, or Plavix that affect your bleeding, please call us at 570-271-6621.
- Bring a list of your medications including dose and how often you take them.
- Please bring with you any x-rays or MRI films and reports not done at Geisinger Medical Center.
- You should plan on being here 2 to 4 hours.
- Your exam and/or treatment will be done in the interventional Pain Center at Geisinger - Woodbine.
What happens during the procedure?
- You will be positioned sitting or lying down so that the site of your pain can be examined.
- The area to be injected will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
- The doctor will apply pressure with his finger to locate the exact area you have pain.
- The doctor will inject the painful or tender area with a small amount of local anesthetic and steroid.
How long does the procedure take?
It takes about 5-10 minutes.
What are the complications?
- Infection at injection site
What happens after the procedure?
A nurse will take your blood pressure and offer you liquids. She will ask if you have any change in your pain. Discharge instructions will be reviewed and you will receive a copy of them when your check out.
Steroids take 24 to 48 hours to start to absorb and work so it may be a few days before you feel any relief and up to a week to 10 days before you have significant relief.
- Do not drive or operate machinery until the next day.
- Take your usual pain medications or prescriptions as written.
- You may eat your normal diet.
Temporary side effects
- Numbness and tingling in extremities
Numbness and tingling in extremities
- No strenuous activity for 24 hours after the injection
- Increased blood sugar in diabetic patients
- Increased pain the first 48 hours
Warnings: Call Pain Medicine, 570-271-6621
- Fever greater then 101 degrees
- Redness, swelling or pus-like drainage at injection site
Return your follow-up questionnaire in the envelope provided in 7-10 days.
Your return appointment will be scheduled when you check out.
If you have any problems or concerns, please call us at 570-271-6621 Monday through Friday 7:30 to 4:30. If it is after hours, call 570-271-6211 and ask for the Chronic Pain physician on call.