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.
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 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.