The effectiveness of the masseteric nerve block compared with trigger point injections and dry needling in myofascial pain

Cranio. 2020 Sep 16;1-6. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2020.1820686. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To compare the efficacy of three different treatment methods in the management of myofascial pain: masseteric nerve block (MNB), trigger point injection with local anesthetic (LA), and dry needling (DN).

Methods: Forty-five patients diagnosed with myofascial pain and trigger points in masseter muscles were treated with MNB (n = 15), DN (n = 15), and trigger point injection with LA (n = 15). Pain on palpation (PoP), pain on function (PoF), and maximum mouth opening (MMO) scores were measured and compared before the injections and all follow-ups after the injections.

Results: MMO values were significantly increased in each group. The decrease in PoF values was statistically significant between the groups at 12 weeks (baseline time period).

Discussion: Results of the present study indicate that MNB was not as effective as trigger point injection with local anesthetic or dry-needling in the management of masticatory myofascial pain.

Keywords: Trigger points; dry needling; injections; masseter muscle; myalgia; nerve block.