Trigger points are small muscle knots that restrict your movement and often cause significant pain – not only at the knot, but in other parts of your body as well. Dr. Alexander Kulick has helped many patients get long-term relief from trigger points with injections that relax the muscle and reduce inflammation. If you have questions about trigger-point injections or need help with ongoing pain, call the office on the Upper East Side of New York City or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment today.

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What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a sensitive, knotted area in a tight band of muscle. You can often feel the trigger point as a hard nodule about the size of a pea.

There are two types of trigger points:

Active trigger points

These often cause pain even when the muscle is at rest. They’re very tender to the touch, and when pressure is applied, a twitch response occurs and you feel referred pain in another area of your body.

Latent trigger points

Latent trigger points are usually only painful when pressure is applied directly to the knotted area. However, these trigger points can restrict your mobility or cause muscle weakness.

What causes trigger points?

Trigger points develop when a muscle repeatedly contracts, which can be due to:

  • An overuse injury: using the same muscles repeatedly
  • Sustained loading: carrying or lifting heavy items
  • Acute injury: often caused by falls and sports injuries
  • Tense muscles: usually due to chronic stress
  • Poor posture: places excessive pressure on specific muscles

You can also end up with trigger points if you’re inactive for an extended time.

What are the symptoms of a trigger point?

Trigger points are primarily known for causing pain. However, you can experience different types of pain, such as:

  • Soreness localized around the trigger point
  • Aching pain throughout the muscle
  • Severe pain when you press on the trigger point
  • Radiating pain that travels away from the muscle knot

Persistent trigger-point pain leads to muscle stiffness and significantly limits your movement. Depending on their location, trigger points can also cause tension headaches, temporomandibular joint pain, limited range of motion in your legs, and lower back pain.

What are trigger-point injections?

Trigger-point injections ease muscle tension and reduce your pain through an injection of a solution containing saline and procaine (a local anesthetic) into the knot. Dr. Kulick isolates the trigger point and stabilizes the area, holding it with two fingers, then injects the solution into the trigger point.

Following the injection, your muscle relaxes, relieving your pain. After several treatments, you’ll have less swelling and stiffness, an improved range of motion, and no muscle tension.

To get long-lasting relief for painful trigger points, call Dr. Alexander Kulick or book an appointment online today.