A comparison between effectiveness of gluteal trigger point and epidural steroid injection in lumbosacral canal stenosis patients: a randomized clinical trial

Br J Neurosurg. 2023 Oct;37(5):1117-1123. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2022.2033698. Epub 2022 Feb 7.


Background: Lumbosacral Spinal Stenosis (LSS) is a degenerative spine disease and a major cause of pain and disability, especially in geriatrics. Primary symptom control in patients with LSS includes conservative treatment and non-surgical methods. In this study, we aimed to compare the effect of steroid injection via epidural and gluteal trigger point techniques.

Methods: Patients aged 40-75 years old who had pain and other clinical signs of spinal stenosis in the last 6 months were included in our study and divided into two groups of gluteal trigger point (TP) or epidural steroid injection (ESI). The patients were evaluated based on the visual analog scale (VAS), Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and the Quebec back pain disability scales during their pre-injection period and 2 weeks after follow-ups till 8 weeks. A P value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: A total of 44 patients were included in our study. The TP group had a significant decrease in comparison with their follow-ups; however, in the epidural group, the significant decrease was only observed compared to the pre-injection period and the scores did not have any significant decreases after the second week regarding the ODI, RQM, and VAS scales. The TP group demonstrated significantly higher scores of decreases of ODI and Quebec score compared to the epidural group at weeks 4 and 8. Regarding RQM, the TP groups demonstrated significantly higher scores of decreases compared to the epidural group at weeks 2, 4 and 8. (p < 0.001 p = 0.008, and p < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: Both epidural and TP steroid injection significantly reduced the patients' pain and improved their QoL and function; however, more satisfactory results were observed in the TP group during the patients' follow-ups, while the epidural group demonstrated only statistically significant improvement during the short-term follow-up.

Keywords: Trigger point; lumbar stenosis; randomized clinical trial; steroid.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Back Pain
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Humans
  • Injections, Epidural / methods
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Spinal Stenosis* / complications
  • Spinal Stenosis* / diagnosis
  • Spinal Stenosis* / drug therapy
  • Steroids / pharmacology
  • Steroids / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigger Points


  • Steroids