TRIGGER POINTS
The Great Pain Villain

Without a doubt, the number one cause of pain is trigger points (TrP), otherwise known as myofascial pain syndrome or myofascitis. It is also the most ignored condition rarely getting any attention or, at best, inadequate emphasis.

Most chiropractors and practically all medical doctors are familiar with TrP(s) but few truly know how to locate, identify or treat them. 

I have worked in numerous chiropractic offices and it amazes me how patients, that I see in these offices, are completely unfamiliar with trigger points and are shocked with the results they feel with even a couple of treatment sessions. Many have been suffering for years with chronic pain. Most have been visiting numerous chiropractic and medical physicians searching for lasting relief.

What is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is a highly sensitive area in the muscle that constantly sends the signal of pain to your brain through the nervous system. If left untreated, it will continue to do this resulting in a chronic pain syndrome.

These points can often be felt as tiny hard nodules or tense muscle fibers. When compressed they will be painful and, more often than not, will be the major source of your chronic lower back pain or most chronic pain for that matter. The key is to be able to, upon compression, reproduce your pain.

They will not disappear over time if left untreated. However, they can become less sensitive at times, only to flare up upon some provocation such as overexertion, illness, fatigue, food sensitivities or any other body stress for that matter.

Myofascitis, or myofascial pain syndrome, is the number one cause of pain. However, the ill effects are not just isolated to pain. A TrP can also cause muscles to shorten with too much tension. So, a muscle that harbors these painful points is unable to achieve its full length. This is easy to identify with simple range of motion maneuvers.

Myofascial pain syndrome can also cause the muscles to be weakened. Once they are treated to the point of elimination, the muscles again will demonstrate normal strength relative to the same muscles on the opposite side.

More clearly, when a muscle that has an active TrP is challenged with resistance, that muscle will be objectively weaker than the same muscle on the opposite side when it too is challenged to the same resisted force. Once they are effectively treated, the muscles will test nearly identical. Muscles possess an inherent strength; but, due to abnormal neuromuscular activity caused by a trigger point, that muscle is in a weakened state. Once the myofascitis is treated the strength is restored.

Other Effects of TrP(s)

Other reactions or effects can be capillary changes, such as vasodilation, numbness, hyperesthesia (increased awareness to touch), and a loss of balance or coordination. These are all temporary conditions that will return to normalcy with proper treatment.

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Active vs. Latent Trigger Points

> Trigger Points That Cause Lower Back Pain

> Who Gets Trigger Points

> Trigger Point Treatment

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