Myofascial trigger points in the abdominal muscles are very common. These muscles are responsible for trunk movement and stability, and are engaged in some way during most activities. As a result trigger points will easily form. These knots will often refer pain into the lower or mid back in a horizontal strip. Trigger points in the abdominal muscles are often overlooked as a source of back pain. Once developed, a trigger point won’t release on its own. A therapeutic modality such as trigger point massage is needed to release the tissue.
If this looks familiar to you, then you probably have trigger points. The muscles in your back and neck become strained and overloaded and the muscles in the front become shortened and contracted. When this happens trigger points can develop. These points will cause pain, refered pain, stiffness and weakness. Trigger points in the neck muscles can refer pain into the head and cause headaches.
The erector spinae muscles are a group of muscles the travel the length of your spine. They are responsible for spinal movement and stabilization. These muscles often become overloaded with poor posture of the spine. As a result trigger points often form. These points can cause pain to be felt anywhere along the spine and back. Some of these points can even refer pain into the front abdomen as well
The Abdominal muscles what people think of as your six pack muscles. They are mostly responsible for flexing the spine and postural stability. These muscles are often tight in people with poor posture with a rounded spine. This causes trigger points to developed. Trigger points in the abs cause pain to be felt in the abdomen, but also frequently in the back. Trigger points in the upper abdominals refer pain into the mid back, and points in the lower abdominals produce lower back pain.
The rhomboids are muscles between your shoulder blades that are mainly responsible for pulling your shoulder blades back. Poor sitting posture with the shoulders slumped and rounded forward causes these muscles to become strained and overloaded. When this happens trigger points can form, causing achy pain and restlessness between the shoulder blades.
A common cause of sacral and lower back pain is trigger points in the gluteus medius muscle. This muscle is located in the hip and is responsible for abduction and stabilization of the hip and pelvis. This muscle often harbors trigger points. These knots will often refer pain into the sacrum and lower back area
Low back pain can be a complicated condition. Quite often in my practice I will see multiple muscles involved in causing lower back pain in my clients. For example trigger points in the hip flexors like the psoas muscle, along with trigger points in the back muscles themselves, such as the quadratus lumborum or the multifidus, can all be active and refer pain into the low back. When trigger points are active in multiple muscles at once this is called a chronic myofascial pain syndrome.
The quadratus lumborum muscle or QL. Is a muscle in the lower back. It helps to flex the spine to the side and stabilize the lowback and hip. Trigger points in this muscle are one of the most common causes of low back pain and stiffness. This is probably the most frequent muscle I work on in my practice when treating clients with low back and hip pain.