Trigger Point Therapy for Migraines

April 15, 2016

trigger point therapy for migraines

Any migraine sufferer can tell you that stress and migraines are a mean combination. For many migraineurs, this is a very literal sensation. Stress can cause tension – tension that manifests as tightness in the neck and back and forms a twisted mass of knots. The knots are painful and create a sensation of emotional and physical stress. The cycle builds and builds over days, weeks or months and repeats and repeats until a migraine attack occurs.

Trigger Point Therapy for Migraines

Many people find that migraines are directly connected to these stress-induced knots in the neck and back, commonly referred to as trigger points. These trigger points cause tightness in the head and scalp and referred pain that leads to migraine headache. Luckily for migraine sufferers who deal with these knots, trigger point injections can quiet down those rage-filled, painful knots. Trigger point injections are simply injections of lidocaine in the back and neck that address the pain sensation and give your muscles a chance to calm down.

Trigger point injections aren’t a cure-all for migraines, but the lidocaine contained in the shots can calm not only the muscles where the medication is injected, but the surrounding muscles as well. Trigger point injections are fairly simple, and as such, can be performed in your headache specialist’s office without sedation. You will feel a tiny prick similar to a bee sting when the needle breaks your skin, but most patients say the procedure is pretty pain free and no worse than getting your yearly flu shot.

How Trigger Point Injections Help Migraines

Right after your trigger point injections, you should feel some significant relief from your neck and back pain. This benefit can last from hours to weeks and the results vary pretty significantly from person to person. Many migraine sufferers find that they need several rounds of treatment before they notice a true reduction in the severity of the frequency and intensity of their migraines.

You and your headache specialist can work in partnership to create a customized treatment plan for your migraine headaches. Some people are able to find relief from the pain of migraines using therapies like trigger point injection and massage. Other patients with chronic migraine find that alternative therapies provide little to no relief and that medical and surgical options are the best treatment plan for their symptoms. 


Kuruvilla, D. and Robbins, M. (February 17, 2014). The basics of trigger point injections
for headache and migraine. Retrieved from






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