Lidocaine injections into paraspinals for chronic low back pain

By | April 13, 2016

Local anesthetics are commonly used in Acupoint injections, although ARIABC generally recommends the less toxic compound procaine over lidocaine, both are beneficial in treating pain conditions. Non-specific low back pain is defined as back pain where no serious underlying pathology is identified.

In a study published in 2016(1), patients with chronic non-specific low back pain were divided into three groups. Group 1 received 3mL lidocaine injections into the paraspinals that were identified as having taut bands and were painful to the touch. This was repeated weekly for three weeks. Group 2 received stimulation of the back with the tip of a needle without its introduction or injection. Group 3 were instructed to perform exercises for the lumbar spine at home 3 times daily.

The results showed 71% of participants in group 1 were responders compared to 54% in the other two groups. Responders were defined as achieving at least a 30% improvement in pain scores. Group 1 had reached a statistically significant improvement in functional scores and pain pressure threshold (amount of downward force applied to sore spots) compared to the other two groups.

There were significant changes in pain threshold immediately after treatment, supporting the effects of this intervention in reducing central sensitization. Paraspinous lidocaine injection therapy is not associated with a higher risk of adverse effects compared with conventional treatment and sham injection. Its effects on hyperalgesia might correlate with changes in central sensitization.



  1. Imamura M, Paraspinous lidocaine injection for chronic nonspecific low back pain: A randomized controlled clinical trial, Journal of Pain (2016), doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2016.01.469. Accessed at