Trigger points in the piriformis muscle will cause pain to refer into the buttocks and down the back of the leg. These points will also cause shortening and tightening of this muscle, which can in turn out pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is called piriformis syndrome.
The gluteus minimus muscle is located at the hip. It functions to abduct the hip and stabilize the pelvis. Trigger points commonly develop in this muscle from overload stress. The referral pattern of these trigger points will refer pain down the side of the leg, as well as into the glute and hamstring. These symptoms are often mistaken for irritation of the sciatic nerve called ” sciatica” which produces very similar symptoms.
Piriformis syndrome is caused by a tight contracted piriformis muscle putting pressure on the sciatic nerve causing symptoms of tingling, numbness, and altered sensation. This muscle is often tight in people who sit for long periods of time. A common cause of this muscle being contracted and tight are trigger points. These trigger points are contracted knots within the belly of the muscle. These knots cause the muscle to become shortened. Trigger points will also cause pain on their own. This is usually felt as a deep achy pain in the glute and hip area, as well as in the back of the leg.
The Rectus Femoris muscle is a large muscle that makes up part of the quadriceps group. It functions to extend the knee and flex the hip. It originates on the anterior inferior iliac spine and part of the acetabulum. It’s insertion is the patella via the quadriceps tendon and tibial tuberosity via the patellar ligament. Trigger points in this muscle refer deep into the knee. This muscle is an often overlooked source of knee pain.
Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a stimulus, such as muscle tightness, that sets off trigger points in your muscles. Factors that may increase your risk of muscle
trigger points include:
- Muscle injury. An acute muscle injury or continual muscle stress may lead to the development of trigger points. For example, a spot within or near a strained muscle may become a trigger point. Repetitive motions and poor posture also may increase your risk.
- Stress and anxiety. People who frequently experience stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles. One theory holds that these people may be more likely to clench their muscles, a form of repeated strain that leaves muscles susceptible to trigger point
Sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse. These sensitive areas are called trigger points. A trigger point in a muscle can cause strain and pain throughout the muscle. When this pain persists and worsens, doctors call it myofascial pain syndrome.
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain.
This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension.