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What Are Trigger Points?

Feb 20, 2022

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What Are Trigger Points?

 

A trigger point refers to a particular spot or point in a muscle that creates referral pain ๐Ÿ˜ž in another part of your body. For example, a trigger point in your neck could cause pain in the side of your head โ€“ we call this referral pain. Usually, the pain is made worse when you press ๐Ÿ‘‡ on the trigger point.

Trigger points can also be a tender point in your muscle that radiates throughout the muscle and tissue which causes myofascial pain โ€“ a fancy description for a condition where you feel pain and tenderness in certain areas of your body.

 

What Do Trigger Points Feel Like?

 

Trigger points are quite common ๐Ÿค” and can happen in any muscle in your body.

You can actually feel some trigger points. When you touch them, they feel like knots in the muscles.

The muscles that often develop trigger points are in your head and neck area, which can lead to other symptoms like headaches, or your buttock area which can mimic sciatica!

 

What Causes Trigger Points?

 

The causes of trigger points vary, sometimes thereโ€™s a specific reason, other times it can seem as if they develop out of nowhere. In our practice, most of our patientsโ€™ trigger points are caused by:

  • Injury, either recent or long-term.
  • Lack of exercise or exercising ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ incorrectly.
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive stress caused by tightening up the muscles to guard and protect ourselves
  • Repetitive movements from the work we do or the hobbies or sports we play.

 

 

How Do You Treat Trigger Points?

 

Trigger points donโ€™t usually heal on their own. There are two main ways you can treat trigger points: massage therapy and chiropractic care.

Massage therapy ๐Ÿ’†โ€โ™€๏ธ works wonders for trigger points by encouraging fresh oxygenated blood ๐Ÿฉธ into your muscle and flushing out any waste material ๐Ÿ—‘ or toxins that could be in the muscle. Massage brings more oxygen to the area and encourages the muscles to release, which in turn relieves any pain or discomfort ๐Ÿ˜Š. There isnโ€™t a specific type of massage that is specifically developed for trigger points, but massage therapists can use a variety of techniques to loosen knots, muscles, and surrounding connective tissue.

 

As chiropractors, we have a range of techniques we can use to treat trigger points, but the one we use most frequently to treat this painful condition is trigger point therapy. Trigger point therapy starts by finding your trigger points and then gently ๐Ÿค— applying a little pressure to release them. The goal of trigger point therapy is to improve blood circulation to the trigger zone, to stretch any bands of muscle that have become tight, and release surrounding connective tissue. Our massage therapists offer trigger point therapy too!

 

Dry Needling can also be used by many of our chiropractors at Inspired Health. This is a form of acupuncture that works straight on the trigger point to break down tension and relieve pain.

 

How Can I Prevent Trigger Points?

 

As mentioned above, trigger points can develop from a variety of causes. But there are some things you can do to prevent trigger points or avoid worsening existing trigger points.

 

  • Regular exercise: Gentle exercise ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ is vital to keeping your muscles loose and stopping them from seizing or freezing.
  • Improving your posture: Sitting ๐Ÿช‘ and standing ๐Ÿงโ€โ™€๏ธ incorrectly for long periods of time can affect just about every aspect of your health.
  • Get good quality sleep: Sleep ๐Ÿ˜ด plays a big role in your bodyโ€™s ability to heal and restore itself. Poor sleep quality can cause and worsen trigger points.
  • Stretch regularly: Always be sure to stretch ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ before and after exercising or playing a sport. By stretching regularly, youโ€™re keeping your muscles healthy and less likely to develop issues later on.
  • Manage your stress levels: Stress ๐Ÿคฏ causes tension and tension can result in trigger points. Learn effective ways to manage your stress to prevent it from causing physical problems.

 

 

If you suspect you may have developed a trigger point and would like to book a massage therapy or chiropractic care appointment, email ๐Ÿ“ง us at admin@inspiredhealthchiropractic.com or call โ˜Ž us on 01245 699 152.

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