Comparison of acupuncture to injection for myofascial trigger point pain

Pain Pract. Mar-Apr 2011;11(2):132-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2010.00396.x.


Objectives: Many treatments have been proposed for myofascial pain syndrome. The objective of this study was to compare the analgesic effect of acupuncture to trigger point injection combined with cyclobenzaprine chlorhydrate and sodium dipyrone.

Methods: A randomized study was performed in 30 patients divided into 2 groups: G1 received trigger point injection with 0.25% bupivacaine twice weekly, and both cyclobenzaprine chlorhydrate 10 mg/day and sodium dipyrone 500 mg every 8 hours; G2 received classical and trigger point acupuncture twice weekly. All patients were instructed in physical exercise. The following parameters were evaluated: pain intensity rated on a numerical scale, number of trigger points, and quality of life before and 4 weeks after treatment.

Results: The pain scores and the number of trigger points reduced significantly in both groups, with no significant difference between groups. Significant improvement in the quality of life scores was observed for some of the functional domains in the 2 groups, whereas there was no improvement of the general health status domain in either group or of the emotional domain in G1.

Conclusion: Acupuncture, when compared with trigger point injection, combined with cyclobenzaprine chlorhydrate and sodium dipyrone provided similar pain relief and improvement in quality of life measures at 4 weeks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Analgesia / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Anesthetics, Local / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Local