Trigger points are hyper irritable knots found in muscle tissue. These points form in a muscle due to overload stress. Trigger points can form anywhere, in any muscle. Once formed they irritate sensory nerves and produce pain, refered pain, weakness, and stiffness. Trigger points will also mimic symptoms of other conditions such as “sciatica” or Carple tunnel syndrome. Trigger points will not go away on there own, they must be manually released with hands on techniques like trigger point massage.
Activation of trigger points may be caused by a number of factors, including acute or chronic muscle overload, activation by other trigger points (key/satellite, primary/secondary), disease, psychological distress (via systemic inflammation), homeostatic imbalances, direct trauma to the region, collision trauma (such as a car crash which stresses many muscles and causes instant trigger points) radiculopathy, infections and health issues such as smoking.
Pain related to a discrete, irritable point in skeletal muscle or fascia, not caused by acute local trauma, inflammation, degeneration, neoplasm or infection.
The painful point can be felt as a nodule or band in the muscle, and a twitch response can be elicited on stimulation of the trigger point.
Palpation of the trigger point reproduces the patient’s complaint of pain, and the pain radiates in a distribution typical of the specific muscle harboring the trigger point.
Over 2000 published research studies demonstrate:
• Laser therapy improves blood flow and lymphatic drainage
• Laser therapy has a strengthening effect on tissue repair
• It is an effective means of relief for many pain syndromes
• It can improve immune response
• Enhanced nerve regeneration & function
• Increased microcirculation & vasodilation
• Increased lymphatic flow
• Increased collagen production
• Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
• Reduced inflammation
• Enhanced angiogenesis (creation of new blood vessels)
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the pectoralis major is the main muscle of the chest. It is a powerful adductor of the arm. This muscle often is tight and shortened from poor shoulder posture. Trigger points in this muscle will cause pain to refer into the chest, shoulder, and down the arm. Trigger points in the left pec can mimic heart attack and angina symptoms.
The serratus anterior muscle is responsible for scapular and rib movement and stability. This muscle can become overloaded from poor posture of the shoulders, as well as heavy breathing from exertion. Trigger points in this muscle will cause pain to be felt under the armpit into the shoulder blade area, and down the arm into the fingers.
Myofascial trigger points form in a muscle due to overload stress. A portion of muscle fibers lock up into a knot. Once formed these points will irritate sensory nerves that are in proximity to the knot. When this happens,
trigger points have the capacity to refer pain along specific distributions or patterns that are well mapped out. sometimes pain may be felt at a great distance away from the actual point itself.