What is the role of stretching following a trigger point injection?

Updated: Nov 03, 2020
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Stretching after trigger point injection is an integral part of treatment. The physician should stretch involved muscles to try to obtain full length.

Before stretching, it may be helpful to apply a few sweeps of vapocoolant spray in a parallel direction over the muscle and its referred pain pattern to relax remaining tense fibers. [2]  This should be followed by the application of a hot pack over all injected trigger points.

After heat has been applied topically for several minutes, the patient should perform full active range of motion of the muscle several times to relieve residual stiffness, evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure, and reestablish awareness of normal muscle function.

Strenuous activities should be avoided for at least the period of postinjection muscle soreness. However, the patient is encouraged to use the muscle with full range of motion rather than hold it in a fixed, shortened position. [2]


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