Unlocking Relief: The Potential of Trigger Point Injections for Sciatica
Here at Kaly, we know many sciatica sufferers are looking for safe, effective options for pain relief.
If you’re struggling with stubborn sciatica symptoms, trigger point injections may be worth discussing with your doctor. Below we’ll explore how these targeted shots can help provide sciatica pain relief when other treatments fall short.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica refers to radiating leg pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. This large nerve extends from the lower back, down through the buttocks, and into each leg. In addition to pain, sciatica can cause tingling, numbness or weakness along the nerve pathway.
Common causes include a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, pregnancy, and degenerative disc disease. Sciatica can be extremely painful and disrupt daily life. When more conservative treatments fail to provide lasting relief, your doctor may suggest trying trigger point injections.
What are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are tight, contracted knots that form in muscles and surrounding connective tissue.
These hyperirritable spots can radiate pain in surrounding areas when touched or pressed. Trigger points commonly develop in the piriformis, gluteal muscles, and lower back areas – regions tied to sciatic nerve pain.
Injecting medication directly into trigger points can help numb, relax and ultimately inactivate them. This provides targeted pain relief where you need it most.
Where are the injections given for sciatica pain?
Common injection sites are the lower back, piriformis muscle, and gluteal trigger points. Your provider will target specific areas contributing to your symptoms.
Can trigger point injections make your pain worse?
Properly administered injections shouldn’t increase your pain. Tell your doctor about any worsened symptoms so they can adjust the treatment approach.
How Do Trigger Point Injections Work?
During this minimally invasive procedure, your doctor inserts a very thin needle into the trigger point. They’ll first inject a local anesthetic like lidocaine to numb the area and provide immediate pain relief.
Once numb, they’ll inject a corticosteroid to help reduce inflammation that contributes to trigger point formation. Steroids help calm irritation affecting the sciatic nerve as well. Some doctors also administer saline to help wash out the contracted tissue.
Many patients experience significant pain reduction in the days following injection treatments. It may take a few sessions to fully resolve stubborn trigger points.
How often can you get trigger point injections for sciatica?
Your provider will recommend an appropriate injection schedule based on your response. Repeat sessions every 2 weeks up to every 3-6 months are common.
Do I have to stop taking pain medication before trigger point injections?
Check with your provider, but you can generally continue other medications.injections often reduce the need for pain medication over time.
What are the Benefits?
Potential advantages of trigger point injections include:
- Targeted pain relief right at the source
- Minimally invasive with little to no recovery time
- Provides longer-lasting pain control between sessions
- Helps break the pain cycle caused by trigger points
- Avoids side effects of oral pain medication
When performed correctly, injections pose little risk and are well tolerated overall. Of course, discuss any risks specific to your health with your provider.
Does Insurance Cover This Treatment?
Many insurance plans do cover medically necessary trigger point injections. Coverage varies by plan, so check with your insurance provider. We’re also happy to verify your benefits – just ask!
Here at Kaly, we make it easy to connect with top specialists trained in trigger point injection techniques.
Our experienced providers develop customized treatment plans to help identify and resolve stubborn trigger points exacerbating your sciatica. Schedule an appointment today to explore whether targeted injections could provide the relief you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do trigger point injections help sciatica?
They can directly target painful trigger points in the lower back and glutes pressing on the sciatic nerve. Numbing or deactivating these can relieve nerve compression.
How long does pain relief from trigger point injections last?
Pain relief duration varies but typically lasts a few weeks or months before symptoms potentially return. Multiple sessions are often needed for maximal results.
Are trigger point injections painful?
You may feel moderate pain/pressure during injection. The local anesthetic numbs the area first, making the procedure well tolerated overall.
When do trigger point injections start working?
Patients often experience significant pain relief within a few hours or days of injection as the numbing medication takes effect. Reduced pain can last several weeks.
What are the side effects of trigger point injections?
Temporary pain/soreness, bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction are possible but very rare side effects. Discuss any specific concerns with your doctor.
How much does a trigger point injection cost?
Costs typically range from $100-$500 per injection depending on your location and provider. Many insurances cover medically necessary procedures.