What is it, if it works, risks

More … than 14% of Americans – including children – suffer from migraine, a multi-faceted neurological condition known to cause:

  • increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • nausea
  • dizziness or feeling faint
  • pain on one side of the head
  • throbbing, throbbing head pain
  • vomiting

There are many options for treating migraine, such as prescription or over-the-counter medications, lifestyle changes, and acupuncture. Trigger point injections are another option that can help.

Trigger point injections, which target muscles believed to play a role in migraine attacks, may work quickly for some people, but not at all for others. Find out if this treatment might be an option for you.

There are many triggers for migraine attacks, but one specific cause may be the stimulation of certain muscle areas called trigger points. Trigger points have been linked to musculoskeletal and myofascial pain when stimulated. These points develop into tight, sensitive bands of skeletal muscle.

Although some therapies target trigger points through massage or other types of manipulation, they can also be a cause of irritation. Trigger points in the muscles of the head, neck and shoulders can cause headaches and are common in tension headaches and migraines. In reality, studies have found that people with migraine may have more trigger points than people who don’t, and that the number of trigger points a person has is related to how often they have migraine attacks and how their severity.

Since trigger points have been identified as a possible cause of migraine attacks, they have also been targeted as a possible solution.

Trigger point injections can be used to treat several types of chronic musculoskeletal pain. With headaches, trigger points in the head and neck are most often targeted. On 94 percent of people migraine sufferers report trigger point pain, primarily in the temporal and suboccipital regions of the brain, and more than 75% of specialists with the American Headache Society’s report using trigger point injections as a treatment for migraine.

These injections are performed by trained professionals who use tiny needles to inject a combination of drugs to treat pain and inflammation. A number of medications can be used, but the most common include:

There are little research to show that one of these drugs is better than another, although local anesthetics are often the preferred choice. These drugs numb the treated area or stop inflammation, reducing the pain signals sent to the brain to cause seizures.

To begin treatment, you will be seated and your doctor will touch or palpate the muscles where your trigger points are. Common muscles targeted for these injections include:

  • trapeze
  • sternocleidomastoid
  • cervical paraspinal
  • levator scapulae
  • temporalis
  • masseter
  • frontalis
  • occipital

Once the injection area is located, your doctor will pinch off a small piece of tissue and perform the injection. You may need to return for additional injections and you will usually be observed in the office for any reactions before you can go home.

There haven’t been many large studies on the effectiveness of these injections, but the research that has been done is promising. A study in 2015 found that using trigger point injections worked better in controlling and treating migraine than medication alone. Other reports suggest using these injections with other migraine treatments for best effect.

A report have shown that trigger point injections can reduce severe migraine pain in as little as 2 hours.

Serious Side effects are rare with trigger point injections. When they occur, the most common are:

  • nerve damage
  • muscle injury
  • dizziness
  • allergic reactions or anaphylaxis
  • bleeding
  • infection

These risks can be reduced by using smaller needles and drug doses, and by cleaning the injection site thoroughly before treatment.

After your injection, you should be able to go home without restriction. In some cases, trigger point injections and manipulation can cause referred pain, which is pain in another area of ​​the body other than the one being treated.

When it comes to migraine pain, some people get relief within hours, while others don’t get any at all. If treatment is successful in relieving migraine pain, it may last Several weeks before another injection is needed.

Prices may vary. Injections alone can cost around $200 per site, with additional fees charged for administration and other services rendered. According to the establishmentyou may also be able to get discounts by signing up for multiple injections at once or having more than one area treated at a time.

Like most medical treatments, what is considered medically necessary by your doctor is usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. Specific coverage will depend on why your doctor is prescribing the treatment and what type of insurance plan you have.

Trigger point injections are generally used to treat the following headaches and types of migraine attacks:

  • chronic tension headache
  • chronic migraine
  • new persistent daily headache
  • migraine status
  • episodic tension headache
  • chronic cluster headache
  • migraine without aura
  • continuous hemicrania
  • migraine with aura
  • episodic cluster headache

Your doctor may also consider this treatment with other types of headaches, but there are specific things that might prevent you from using this treatment.

Contraindications are conditions that make the treatment or procedure inadvisable. Contraindications — conditions that make the procedure inadvisable — include:

  • current infection
  • open skull defects or injuries below the injection site
  • allergies to anesthetics

Special precautions can also be taken for people taking blood thinners or who are pregnant.

To find someone in your area who performs trigger point injections, start by asking your doctor for a referral. In many cases, these procedures are performed by nerve and spine – or pain specialists.

Trigger point injections can help relieve migraine pain by reducing tenderness in muscle fibers around the head and neck. These injections don’t work for everyone and can be expensive if your insurance doesn’t cover the service. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options and whether injections might work for you. Discuss the risks and costs of the procedure with a specialist before making a decision.