What are Trigger Points?
Trigger points (myofascial pain) are small “knots,” or areas of spasm, within a muscle. They may be tender when touched, or cause shortening of a muscle. The shortening may then cause limitation in the range of motion of the affected area (for example, in neck rotation). Trigger points may even cause “referred pain”—pain that is felt in a distant location when the trigger point is touched. The pain from these points may come and go spontaneously; or linger for hours, days, even months. These little spasms within the muscle are physical knots responsible for the discomfort, pain, soreness, or tightness that is felt. These knots may produce a chronically sore and shortened muscle.
What Causes Trigger Points to Form?
There are many causes: accidents, misuse, overuse, misalignments, disk and other spinal problems. The resulting inflammation, along with emotional stressors, cause muscle cells to contract. Continuously contracting muscle cells constrict their own blood supply, resulting in a “local energy crisis” in those cells. When this occurs, the cells do not have enough energy to stop contracting, and prolonged spasm and trigger points ensue.
How Does Trigger Point Therapy Work?
Trigger Point Therapy loosens these knots, allowing improved blood flow to the chronically spasmodic areas. As a result, the areas begin to heal. As soon as the knots are relieved, there is often an immediate and remarkable reduction in pain, soreness, or discomfort, as well as the beginning of long-term relief. If pursued properly over a number of sessions, the muscles will heal themselves and the symptoms will abate. The injection treatment is simple, minimally invasive and quick, and non-injection techniques are available. Improvement is usually noted after each visit.
Conditions Associated with TP
- Neck and Upper Back Pain
- Headache, including Migraine
- Low Back Pain
- Muscular Chest Wall Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Tennis Elbow
- Knee Pain
- Ankle Pain