What is the significance of needle size in the administration of trigger point injection?

Updated: Nov 03, 2020
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

The needle size is important for precise injection. A 22-gauge 3.8-cm (1.5 in.) needle is used for superficial muscles. When capillary fragility with bleeding is a concern, a thinner 25-gauge needle may be preferred. In thick subcutaneous muscles, at least a 21-gauge 5-cm (2-in.) needle is needed.

The needle should never be inserted to its full length, because of the risk of breaking off. A 21-gauge 7.6-cm (3-in.) needle is generally long enough to reach trigger points in the deepest muscles, but occasionally a 8.9-cm (3.5-in.) 22-gauge spinal needle is needed. Because of the excessive flexibility of the spinal needle, it is important to keep the needle straight.


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