How Much Does a Trigger Point Injection Cost?

Written by: Staff

Trigger points are the area of the muscle which will show a band of tightness in the area of the muscle itself, and when pushed, it will generate a twitch.

When pressed, it may cause more than discomfort in the troubled muscle — it could also cause other areas of the body to react as well such as the head or neck.

These trigger points are often caused by either inflammation, an injury, trauma or because of other factors.

Trigger Point Injection Cost
The needle” (CC BY 2.0) by Dr. Partha Sarathi Sahana

The average reported trigger point injection cost

The costs of a trigger point injection will all depend on the provider you use, the number of injections per session and your geographical location.  From what we researched, the costs, without insurance, can vary anywhere from $250 to $450 for just the injections alone.  This would not include any additional testing if needed.

While your health insurance policy will cover it in some circumstances, it’s important to talk with your health insurance provider ahead of time to know what exactly will be covered as the costs, even when covered, will greatly vary.  If covered, regardless of your policy, you should see a significant discount compared to the estimates mentioned prior., a website which connects you with providers who offer their exact price, had an average of $339 to $550 per injection, all depending on the local geographical location.

This Bellin Health PDF noted its facility charged $268 for trigger point injections.

Members on this forum thread discussed the costs of trigger point injections, with one member stating his cost was $450.

What is a trigger point injection?

These injections, normally a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine or bupivacaine, a mixture of anesthetics, or a corticosteroid alone or mixed with lidocaine, is inserted into the affected muscle to help provide some sort of relief.  In some circumstances, no medication will be used, only a needle. If successful, it will not only help the muscle in question, it will also help the other areas experiencing the pain as well when pressure is applied.

Doctors often recommend this type of injection if particular trigger points are elicited with a strong touch and/or may also be helpful for patients who are experiencing extreme headaches and/or migraine attacks as the injection can help the overall worsening of head discomfort for those with persistent headache troubles.

When is it used?

According to WebMD, trigger point injections will be used to treat many muscle groups, especially in the lower back, neck, arms and legs/calf.  These injections can also be used to help treat tension headaches, fibromyalgia or to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome if other treatments aren’t working.

The procedure

Before the injection is administered, the physician will first identify and confirm the affected muscles by palpating the area in question

During the procedure, a physician, typically either a rheumatologist, pain-management doctor, physical medicine or rehabilitation doctor, will insert a tiny needle into the affected muscle while the patient is either sitting or lying down.  As mentioned, this injection will only contain a local anesthetic, but in some circumstances, it could contain a steroid medication as well.

This process will always be performed inside of a doctor’s office and no sedation will be required.  The entire process will take no longer than 15 minutes.

After the injection is done, patients will notice the pain will lessen almost immediately in both the affected muscle and the referred pain to the head or neck.  Some patients, however, may experience no difference, while others may have to wait until results are noticed.

The doctor will ask you rest the affected area for the next 48 hours and to avoid any strenuous activity as long as your muscles still feel sore.  If the injections do not work as planned, then he or she may recommend physical therapy to help you understand any activities which may overstress your muscles, effectively causing the trigger points to form again.  For some, a series of injections, about six weeks apart, may be recommended for the future to help with long-term relief.

In the end, the corticosteroids, if used, will be in an active form for about a month, while the anesthetic will numb the area for the next one to three hours.

How do these injections work?

The anesthetic, inside the injection, as it is injected into the muscle will block the pain receptors which are encircling the muscle, in turn, lessening the pain signals which are transmitted to the brain.  If your doctor decides to use a steroid medication, then this will help lessen the inflammation and the swelling of the tissue found around the nerves, which may also help reduce the pain.  Keep in mind that with these injections, your results will greatly vary as all patients will experience different results.

Trigger point injection side effects

While side effects are rare, they can still occur.  General side effects noted include post-injection pain, which often resolves itself after a few days, or a shrinkage in fat, leaving a dent in the skin in case a steroid medication is administered.  Other side effects, as with any injection, may include bleeding, redness and/or an infection at the injection site.

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Average Reported Cost: $7054

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Dora Mickelsom (Denver,  Colorado) paid $7054 and said:

    Charged $7054.00- YIKES in assembly line facility with LOTS OF SENIORS!

    Was it worth it? Yes

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