A Systematic Review of Anesthetic, Saline and Dry Needling Injections for Headache Patients

Danner Butler*, Larry B. Mellick and Clista Clanton

A Systematic Review of Anesthetic, Saline and Dry Needling Injections for Headache Patients.

Earlier literature provided evidence of neck pain relief via cervical trigger point injections with
anesthetic agents. However, recent evidence suggests that intramuscular or paraspinal cervical injections with local anesthetic may provide relief for various types of headaches and orofacial pain as well.

The primary purpose of this systematic review was to determine whether a cohort of retrospective case studies and randomized controlled trials using paraspinal cervical or intramuscular anesthetic injections were associated with a decrease in headache and orofacial pain.

We implemented the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses format for the systematic review. Initially, four hundred forty articles were located during the systematic review. Five total articles were selected for review and 435 were excluded because they did not meet search criteria.

Another two relevant articles were found during manual searches within references of the systematic review. The seven studies included were retrospective case studies involving patients with headaches or orofacial pain who received paraspinal cervical or other intramuscular injections.

Significant pain relief due to intramuscular or paraspinal cervical injections was observed in 83.7% of the patients. Our systematic review of association between headache or orofacial pain relief and paraspinal cervical injections with various
pain-relieving agents demonstrated a frequency of headache and orofacial pain relief of 83.7%.

Such a large percentage compared to a robust placebo study provides promising evidence that this treatment may have a therapeutic role in the management of headache and orofacial pain.

Emerg Med Open J. 2023; 9(1): 28-32. doi: 10.17140/EMOJ-9-170