Should You Get Trigger Point Injection Therapy for Relief of Neck, Back, or Shoulder Pain?

The ‘knots’ that are in your neck, back or other areas of your body are medically known as ‘trigger points.’ Trigger points are areas of significant tension and contraction that the body has tried to splint (supposedly for our benefit) by putting lactic acid and calcium in the knot to stabilize it. The release of these would be the crunching feeling you might have when someone is massaging or releasing your knots. We have found that injecting these with a combination of either lidocaine or procaine (numbing agents) with added saline and B12 for healing is a great approach for breaking up and releasing trigger points that are causing pain and spasm. And we often will incorporate oxygen therapy to introduce a regenerative therapeutic agent to the tissues which significantly speeds healing.


The trick is however to work on the trigger point pattern related to the area of pain, as opposed to just working on a single spot. As you’ll see in the video, I point out that for treating neck pain, you need to inject points that are not only in the neck, but also in the attachments of those neck muscles in the head and scalp, and into the upper back muscles, such as the trapezius and levator scapulae muscles. This would also be the case for upper or mid-back pain, in addition to treating the thoracic paraspinals (muscles along your spine) you want to also evaluate and consider injection of the rhomboids, upper and mid-trapezius, serratus superior and supraspinatus muscles groups. When addressing the low back, many times we need to inject a little deeper to release the large lumbar paraspinals. Treatment of shoulder pain will depend on the area of pain and history of injury and includes the specific rotator cuff muscles, and sometimes release of the neck and upper back as well.


I personally have a history of neck injury from skiing and this area will flare causing headaches if I’m stressed, or not being diligent about my stretching and adjustments. If I have a flare of pain, I absolutely love receiving trigger point therapy, especially with the addition of oxygen after the injection of lidocaine. The pain relief is almost instantaneous. And I know that not only am I relieving the pain, but also bringing healing blood flow and much needed oxygen to the tissues to support long-term healing.


Most people will need at least three treatments of trigger point therapy to an area of chronic pain or injury. After the three treatments, we will then re-evaluate and assess if we will need an additional treatment or two, which may be necessary for more significant pain and misalignment or for chronic issues.


If you would like guidance in this area, we would love to see you! We love creating personalized health plans for patients, and would love to do so for you! Please reach out if you have questions!


In love, health and light,

Dr. Angila Jaeggli, ND

Phone: (425) 835-0359

Sage Integrative Medicine Clinic, PLLC

110 James Street, Suite 103

Edmonds, WA 98020

Instagram: drangilajaeggli

Youtube: Sage Health TV

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Dr. Angila