Trigger point injections can provide instant relief from muscular pain that causes knotted areas of tissue. If you’re looking for an effective way to banish the pain of trigger points, triple board-certified physiatrist Stanley Mathew, MD, of American Rehabilitation Medicine in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Dubuque, Iowa, can help. Dr. Mathew is an expert in trigger point injections and trigger point dry needling for muscular and myofascial pain. Call American Rehabilitation Medicine today to schedule an appointment or use the online booking form.

What are trigger points?

Trigger points are painful spots in your muscles that become hyper irritated and form tight knots. Trigger points are a frequent cause of muscle pain as well as being responsible for a chronic condition called myofascial pain syndrome.

Myofascial pain syndrome causes muscle aches and spasms, as well as pain. It affects the fascia, which is a connective tissue that’s common throughout the entire body and surrounds your muscles and organs.

It’s not known what causes myofascial pain, but triggers include:

  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Extreme amounts of stress
  • Prior injuries
  • Depression

Trigger point injections can inactivate the trigger points, relieving myofascial pain.

How do trigger point injections work?

Trigger point injections typically contain a local anesthetic, often in combination with a corticosteroid. In some cases, Dr. Mathew at American Rehabilitation Medicine uses medical Botox® to carry out trigger point injections.

The local anesthetic numbs the pain caused by the trigger point, while the steroid acts as a potent anti-inflammatory. Botox interferes with the chemical signals that cause your muscles to tighten.

Dr. Mathew is also highly skilled in using trigger point dry needling. This technique uses the same approach as trigger point injections, but without any medication. Dr. Mathew produces the healing effect using needles without injecting anything, hence the term dry needling.

Dr. Mathew has had great success using trigger point dry needling to treat conditions such as:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Sciatica
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Gluteal and hip pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain

You can discuss the merits of trigger point injections and trigger point dry needling and which would be best for you at your consultation with Dr. Mathew.

What are trigger point injections like?

Dr. Mathew conducts trigger point injections at the American Rehabilitation Medicine office, making this a fast and convenient treatment method.

He uses very fine needles to carry out trigger point injections. This helps keep any discomfort to a minimum. The procedure only takes a few minutes, even if you need several injections.

The number of injections you need depends on how severe your symptoms are and the number of trigger points you have.

After treatment, putting pressure on the injection sites helps your muscles to relax. It may feel slightly sore to begin with, but any discomfort should go within a couple of days.

Because trigger point injections contain an anesthetic, you should feel a reduction in pain almost immediately. How long the numbing effect lasts can vary depending on the patient. The anti-inflammatory effect of the steroid can take a little longer to work, but the results typically last far longer.

Cedar Rapids

UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s Hospital
1026 A Ave NE
5th Floor
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 369-7331


UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital
350 N Grandview Ave
Third Floor
Dubuque, IA 52001
(563) 557-2894


UnityPoint Health Jones Regional
1795 HWY. 64 E.
Anamosa, IA 52205
(319) 462-6131