Trigger points are one of the most common sources of pain in the body. Almost everyone has experienced pain from trigger points at some point in their lives. Without treatment trigger points don’t go away. Trigger point massage therapy is one effective way to treat trigger points.
The pectoralis minor muscle is a small strip like muscle located underneath the pectoralis major. It functions to protect the shoulder and aid in scapular movement and stabilization. This muscle almost always has trigger points in it due to chronic poor posture where the shoulders are rounded. Federal pain from these trigger points will cause pain to be felt in the chest and down the arm.
The Infraspinatus muscle is part of the rotator cuff. It acts to move and stabilize the shoulder. This muscle is often chronically strained in people who have a rounded shoulder posture. With this type of strain trigger points can develop. These knots in the muscle will cause pain to be felt in the front of the shoulder and down the arm.
The levator scapulae muscle is a thin strap like muscle in your neck. It helps to shrug the shoulders and to side flex the neck. This muscle often becomes over worked when the head is tilted forward, or the shoulders are in an elevated position for prolonged periods of time. When strained trigger points develop. These points will refer pain into the neck and shoulder blade area. Trigger points in the levator scapulae are a main cause of a stiff neck.
One of the most common forms of pain I see in my practice is neck and shoulder pain. Many people have jobs that require the muscles of the neck and upper back to work overtime to keep proper neck posture. Sitting in front of a computer all day or being stuck in a car or truck for example will eventually cause these muscles to become strained and develop trigger points. These trigger points will then cause pain, referred pain, stiffness and weakness. Neck and upper back trigger points will refer pain into the neck and head.
Trigger points are the clinical name for contracted muscle knots. These knots are the result of an overload stress placed on the muscle tissue. This overload can be from both acute or chronic stresses. When this happens some of the muscle fibers get locked together in a maximally contracted spasm that self perpetuates. These trigger points then cause symptoms such as pain, referred pain, stiffness, and weakness. They are one of the most common source of pain in the human body, and can even mimick symptoms of other conditions. Trigger points don’t go away on their own, they also can’t be treated with stretching, rest or rehabilitation exercises. A direct intervention targeted directly at the point itself such as trigger point massage therapy is the only way to release a trigger point.
The gluteus maximus muscle is a major player in hip extension. Despite its involvement in walking, running, skating, and pretty much all types of upright movement it remains largely undeveloped in most bodies. This Lak of strength sets it up for overload injuries like trigger points and myofascial pain. These trigger points not only cause glute and hip pain but are also a common source of sacral pain as well. The best prevention for these problems is strong glutes!!! So stop sitting on your butt, and start strengthening it with resistance training.