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Treating Chronic Pain

Trigger point injections (TPI) may be an option to treat pain in some patients. TPI is a procedure to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when the muscles do not relax. Such knots can often be felt under the skin. Trigger points can irritate surrounding nerves and thus cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in other parts of the body.

The procedure involves injection of a local anesthetic (lidocaine, similar to novocaine) into the trigger point. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to lidocaine, saline can be used instead. Multiple injections are usually needed to treat painful areas in several sites. 

TPI numbs the painful knot and alleviates the associated pain as the muscles are allowed to relax. A short course of treatments over a few weeks can result in sustained relief.

This therapy is useful for treatment of pain related to muscles in the back, neck, arms, and legs. It is effective for fibromyalgia, tension headaches, and both acute and chronic myofascial pain.

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