Trigger Points Explained:
Trigger points, which can also be referred to as muscle knots, are commonly responsible for muscle pain that complicates people’s everyday life. So what exactly is a trigger point? A muscle is made up of groups of fibers that work together to generate movements inside and outside of the body. If you were to look at just an individual fiber that makes up a muscle group, you would see a palpable nodule. These muscle fibers are designed to contract when the body needs them to by spending messages back and forth in the nervous system. There are certain conditions that can cause a signal to keep muscle fibers in a constant state of contraction, making them hyperirritable. When a muscle fiber is in a state of hyper irritation it causes the nodules to get contraction knots creating a trigger point.
Identification of Trigger Points:
A trigger point will feel like a knot or small bump right under the skin to touch. An active trigger point will present pain as a constant ache, burning, sensation of numbness, or pressing pain. This pain will often cause referred pain, which means that the pain from the knot will radiate pain to other areas of the body. The knot will also cause the muscle to be tight and sensitive to touch making everyday tasks more difficult.
What Causes Trigger Points? Some specific examples of situations that may spark a trigger point flare up include:
- Muscle tension held in certain muscle areas due to stress
- Direct injuries like a car accident, falling down the stairs, or a sport injury
- Repetitive movements that you may have to consistently do in a work environment or hobbies ● Improper posture while heavy lifting or exercise
- Improper posture while sitting or standing
- Lifting for a prolonged period of time like carrying a baby
- Sitting for a prolonged period at a desk or laying in bed
What is the Solution?
That is a great question and it ultimately depends on how you define “solution”?
Do you want the trigger point resolved and worked out for immediate pain relief?
A massage therapist really does a great job at that. Now what if the trigger point or muscle tension comes back in a few days. If that happens, you’re welcome to go back to the massage therapists and get a few more days of relief, but is that really ALL YOU WANT?
If you want a temporary fix solution then just keep repeating the situation as described above (someone just focused on working out the knot).
Now if you want a permanent fix- you have to ask a better question. Such as, “what caused the trigger point to form in the 1st place and how can I change that?” Now we are getting somewhere. This is what we call getting to the root of the issue.
When you solve an issue at the root level- then you’re really making a difference that will last.
Now this level of a solution likely calls for a higher level thinker and practitioner. And this is the level that we focus our time, energy, and effort on when working with our clients at Simply Physio.
Our goal is to “fix it for good” by getting to the root and then connecting all the pieces together so that the problem is solved… for good.
If you’re looking for that level of help and wondering if our approach is what you need, then you can book a call with us to discuss what the next best step would be for you!