Trigger Point Injections overview
A Stellate Ganglion Block involves the injection of a local anesthetic in the front of the neck to block the sympathetic nerves in the neck on either side of the voice box. The purpose of the procedure may be therapeutic, providing pain relief or diagnosis, locating the source of pain. The injections are typically repeated to provided long lasting pain relief. How often the injections are given varies from patient to patient depending on how long each injection relieves their pain. Each injection takes approximately 5-10 minutes and the anesthetic typically takes 10-20 minutes to take full effect.
When muscles do not relax knots or trigger points form, causing pain. Trigger points may even irritate surrounding nerves resulting in referred pain. Referred pain is felt in another part of the body. Trigger point injections are an outpatient procedure in which a small needle is inserted into the trigger point. A local anesthetic medication or a combination of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid is injected into the trigger point. The medication inactivates the trigger point to provide pain relief. Trigger Point Injections are often used to treat muscles groups in the neck, arms, legs, and lower back.
What conditions are Trigger Point Injections used to treat?
Typical benefits/outcomes of Trigger Point Injections
Benefits and outcomes depends on the nature each individuals condition.
- Relief or reduction in pain
- Reduction in pain medications
- Improved mobility
A major benefit of trigger point injections is more effective participation in rehabilitation programs such as physical therapy due to the loosening of muscle groups. More effective participation will increase progress towards joint mobilization.