What are trigger points?


What are Trigger Points?

Discover the Key to Trigger Point Control and Unleash Effective Pain Relief

Unlocking the Secrets of Trigger Points: Understanding Their Characteristics and Unique Treatment

A trigger point refers to a specific point on a muscle or tendon, distinct from bone or joint abnormalities. It manifests as an abnormality on the muscle membrane, causing stiffness that often radiates pain throughout the body. In fact, trigger points are believed to be responsible for 95% of pain and stiffness experienced. While scientific causes and diagnostic criteria are yet to be established, it is crucial to delve into trigger point management to alleviate persistent discomfort.

Differentiating Trigger Points from Other Treatments
Trigger point therapy sets itself apart from acupressure, which involves rubbing acupuncture points. Acupressure operates on the body’s innate healing mechanisms called meridians, typically addressing multiple points simultaneously. Nevertheless, certain acupressure points have been identified to overlap with trigger points, showcasing the interconnectedness of ancient and modern approaches.

Trigger Points: The Hidden Culprits Behind Unexplained Pain

Trigger points often lead to enigmatic pain sensations, as the discomfort is felt in a location separate from the actual trigger point. This phenomenon frequently causes confusion, as the pain appears unrelated to nerve pathways and is not classified as neuralgia. Let’s examine the diagram on the right for an illustrative example. The blue-marked area indicates the perceived pain, while the actual source lies within the infraspinatus muscle, denoted by an X. Remarkably, the patient experienced complete relief from shoulder pain after 45 minutes of physical therapy, highlighting the significance of trigger point awareness. Without understanding trigger points, targeted relief and proper muscle care may remain elusive, possibly leading to unintentional muscle damage.

Trigger Points: The Role of Muscle Shortening in Skeletal Distortion

When trigger points cause muscle shortening, the adjacent bones and pelvis are pulled downward, leading to skeletal distortion. While chiropractic and pelvic adjustments focus on correcting skeletal misalignments, the presence of untreated trigger points can perpetuate the distortion. By effectively addressing trigger points, the natural realignment of the skeleton can occur, resulting in longer-lasting therapeutic outcomes.

Trigger Points: The Impact on the Lymphatic System and Nerves

The compression of the surrounding lymphatic system and nerves is a significant consequence triggered by the substantial muscle mass associated with trigger points. This secondary injury can manifest as conditions like sciatica, extreme swelling, or even tingling in the hands. For instance, the activation of the piriformis muscle, depicted in the blue muscle diagram, can cause muscle enlargement and compression of nerves and the lymphatic system, leading to unpleasant symptoms.

Trigger Points: Invisible Lesions in Medical Imaging

Trigger points evade detection through common hospital tests like MRIs or X-rays. Consequently, when trigger points are the underlying cause of pain, medical examinations often yield a diagnosis of “no abnormality.” Many individuals have experienced the frustration of receiving this diagnosis despite experiencing abnormal pain, such as recurrent cluster headaches. In reality, trigger points in the neck can be a common cause of headaches, as evidenced by the relief experienced by patients and clinic directors.

Trigger Points: The Hidden Stiffness Fueling Chronic Pain

Unfortunately, trigger points do not naturally disappear and persist even with physical therapy. Their intermittent nature stems from their propensity to activate and produce pain. Moreover, “activated” trigger points can lead to the creation of additional trigger points in the associated painful area, further exacerbating the spiral of chronic pain and stiffness. However, there is no need to despair, as once trigger

points “subside,” they become less active over time. Trigger points develop due to excessive muscle contraction and stretching, often resulting from prolonged periods of strain or uncomfortable positions. Activities like intensive work, sports, or prolonged smartphone use can contribute to trigger point formation in the neck and shoulder muscles.

Trigger Points: Unpredictable Activation over Time

Trigger points may not always manifest immediate symptoms but can unexpectedly “activate” after a certain period. An example of this delayed activation is observed in frozen shoulder cases, where trigger points that developed during adolescence can become activated in one’s fifties as muscle strength declines. Even in the absence of apparent pain, it is advisable to consider the possibility of trigger points as a contributing factor.

Trigger Points: Requiring Specialized Treatment for Lasting Relief

To effectively manage trigger points, specialized techniques involving precise angles and penetrating pressure are necessary. Superficial rubbing, general massage, or electrotherapy prove inadequate for trigger point therapy. That’s where deep tissue massage stands out, employing stable and continuous pressure to reach trigger points and provide immediate relief.

Why not experience the transformative effects of trigger point therapy at Reflepathy Uchida in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam? Discover a treatment that delivers remarkable results by targeting trigger points directly.
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