Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain
Our specialists are experts in pediatric rehabilitation medicine. That means we understand how best to incorporate trigger point injections into your child’s personal overall therapy plan. If your child needs trigger point injections, we will strategize when and how they best fit into your child’s care plan. Our approach helps ensure that your child’s therapy is as effective as possible.
What are Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
Trigger point injections are when a trained medical professional inserts a small needle directly into a muscle’s trigger point (or knot). Knots in your child’s muscles form when a muscle can’t relax. You may be able to feel your child’s knots beneath their skin. They feel like little bumps in the muscle.
Spasming muscles swell. Trigger point injections puncture that area to let some of the inflammatory fluids out, like poking a hole in a water balloon. The needle also delivers numbing and steroid medications directly to the knot to further help manage pain and inflammation in the area.
Children usually receive trigger point injections every two weeks for two to three cycles of treatment. Our doctors add these injections to your child’s care plan when painful muscle spasms do not respond to other physical therapy methods. We provide the treatment along with ongoing therapy, never on its own.
What are the benefits of Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
Trigger point injections are an effective treatment for pain caused by conditions and injuries such as:
- Back pain
- Muscle spasms in the shoulders and neck
- Injuries that occur during sports or other activities
- Migraines or chronic headaches
In particular, benefits of trigger point injections include:
- Fast-acting improvement. The injections usually provide increased mobility in the muscle and pain relief within about two days.
- Long-lasting relief. Your child will experience improved muscle mobility and lowered pain for one to two weeks. Their pain might even fully resolve after two or three series of injections.
- Quick procedure. The procedure does not take long, and most children don’t need anesthesia.
- Little to no downtime. Your child can go back to their regular routine right away.
What are the side effects of Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
Injecting a needle into a trigger point can, on occasion, irritate the knot. Your child's pain may get worse before it gets better in the first two days after the procedure. Your child's care team may prescribe pain medication for the knot until the injected medication begins to work.
Your child may experience pain or discomfort at the injection site for 24 to 48 hours after treatment. You can help them manage it with:
- Heat and cold packs
- Pain relief medication such as ibuprofen (such as Advil®) and acetaminophen (such as Tylenol®)
What are the risks of Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
There is very low risk associated with the procedure. Some children experience:
- Mild skin irritation
- Mild bleeding and infection
- Injury to underlying tissues
Our team of experts is well equipped to anticipate and monitor any discomfort your child may feel from trigger point injections. We will not repeat the treatment in children if it doesn’t work well for them. We will help your child be as comfortable as possible throughout and after the procedure.
What can I expect with Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
Before we prescribe trigger point injections for your child, they will undergo an assessment to make a care plan that’s right for them. The whole procedure takes about a half hour, at most. You’re welcome to go into the appointment with your child and stay with them throughout.
Before your child’s first session of trigger point injections, ask your child’s care team if they should continue their medications as usual.
What can I Expect before Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
Before the injections, your child will have another assessment to ensure that they need the injections. Your child’s care team will examine your child again and decide where to place the injections. They will also determine the dosage for each injection.
What can I Expect during Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
During the procedure, your child’s care team will:
- Provide topical anesthetic to numb the skin. Anesthetics may include lidocaine cream or vapocoolant spray. They help minimize the feeling of the needle going through the skin.
- Make the injections.
- Provide you with post-injection care instructions.
Our providers will communicate with your child as much as possible throughout the procedure to ensure that there are no sudden, scary surprises. We will also help make sure your child is as comfortable as possible.
What can I Expect after Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
This procedure does not use any anesthesia, only local anesthetics to numb the skin for the injection. That means your child can go right back to their regular routine afterward.
How do I prepare my child for Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
You will want to warn your child that the procedure involves needles. You can bring their favorite comfort items, such as a favorite stuffed animal or music, to help keep them comfortable during the procedure.
What is my child allowed to eat and drink before Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
Your child can eat and drink normally before the procedure because it does not use any anesthesia. Be sure to ask your child’s care team if you need to adjust any of your child’s medications beforehand.
What questions should I ask my provider about Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain?
- How many trigger point injections have you performed?
- Will my child need to spend the night at the hospital afterward?
- Are there other treatment options available for my child?
- What medications should my child stop taking before a trigger point injection?
- Will my child go home with any special equipment afterward?
- Can I be in the room with my child during the procedure? If not, how long until I get to see them afterward?
Pediatric Trigger Point Injections for Pain Doctors and Providers
Our providers are seasoned experts in strategically giving trigger point injections, helping your child manage their recovery after the procedure, and maximizing the benefits of treatment by supplementing it with other therapies. Peruse our team below and schedule your appointment today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why might a child need trigger point injections?
Children might need trigger point injections to treat muscle tension related to sports and other activities, chronic headaches and other muscle spasms associated with various health conditions. Children with conditions such as cerebral palsy or who have had a stroke may need trigger point injections as their brains may be instructing their muscles to tense up to the point of discomfort.
Is a trigger point injection the same as a cortisone injection?
No. Cortisone injections help with relieving pain in a joint for longer periods of time, but they do not resolve the issue. They are also not used on muscles. Trigger point injections help interrupt the pain cycle by relieving the tension in the muscle causing the pain. They are not used on joints.
What is the difference between trigger point injections and dry needling?
Trigger point injections involve an injection of medication directly into the muscle. This medication helps relieve pain and further resolve inflammation. Dry needing simply punctures the knot to release inflammation without injecting any medication.