Guidance to trigger point injection for treating myofascial pain syndrome: Intramuscular neural distribution of the quadratus lumborum

Clin Anat. 2022 Nov;35(8):1100-1106. doi: 10.1002/ca.23918. Epub 2022 Jun 14.


Postural habits and repetitive motion contribute toward the progress of myofascial pain by affecting overload on specific muscles, the quadratus lumborum (QL) muscle being the most frequently involved. The therapy of myofascial pain syndrome includes the release of myofascial pain syndrome using injective agents such as botulinum neurotoxin, lidocaine, steroids, and normal saline. However, an optimal injection point has not been established for the QL muscle. This study aimed to propose an optimal injection point for this muscle by studying its intramuscular neural distribution using the whole mount staining method. A modified Sihler's procedure was completed on 15 QL muscles to visualize the intramuscular arborization areas in terms of the inferior border of the 12th rib, the transverse processes of L1-L4, and the iliac crest. The intramuscular neural distribution of the QL had the densely arborized areas in the three lateral portions of L3-L4 and L4-L5 and the medial portion between L4 and L5.

Keywords: botulinum neurotoxin; myofascial pain syndrome; myofascial trigger points; quadratus lumborum muscle; trigger point injection.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles
  • Botulinum Toxins*
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes* / drug therapy
  • Saline Solution
  • Trigger Points


  • Saline Solution
  • Lidocaine
  • Botulinum Toxins