Trigger points, also known as myofascial trigger points or muscle knots, are extremely irritated spots in the fascia (soft tissues) that surround skeletal muscles. Although trigger points can be difficult to find, they often produce a tight band or noticeable bump in the muscle structure. Researchers have discovered that trigger points can produce pain in other locations within the body, sometimes at quite a distance from the trigger point itself.
Our muscles are structured to move – to stretch, to twist, to lengthen – and to strengthen and support our motion-driven bodies.
Sometimes we find ourselves in positions that stress our muscles, such as sitting for long periods of time during work days. We may even ignore some minor pain signals, thinking that they will resolve on their own. However, when pain signals are ignored, small injuries can turn into long-term dysfunctions that produces chronic pain.
Trigger points are indicators of incorrect muscle use and fascia damage in some area of the body. Ramon Mascarenas, CMTPT, LMT of PalmLeaf Massage Clinic is trained in myofascial trigger point therapy and he can map pain signals to their trigger point origins and then begin to treat pain by addressing the problem using therapeutic manipulation. With appropriate treatment, trigger point therapy can produce long-lasting relief or significant reduction in pain for most patients.
Image Credit: Travell/Simon