Stiff neck and trigger points.

Myofascial trigger points in the neck muscles are one of the most common causes of neck pain and stiffness. Poor posture and stress can cause muscles in the neck to become overworked and strained. When this happens trigger points will form. These points of contracted muscle will cause pain, referred pain (often into the head), as well as stiffness and weakness. Trigger points won’t resolve on there own, a manual release such as trigger point massage is required to treat the problem.

What is 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.

Trigger points in the lateral pterygoid.

The lateral pterygoid muscle is involved in movement of the jaw. It can become become strained from chronic clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth. When this happened trigger points can form. This leads not only to pain and refered pain, but also dysfunctional joint mechanics. This muscle is a major player in TMJ dysfunction syndrome.

Trigger points in the multifidus muscle.

The multifidus muscle is a long muscle that travels the length of the spine. It has different actions on different parts of the spine. It extends and laterally flexes the cervical and lumbar spine, and rotates the thoracic spine. Trigger points in this muscle are common due to poor posture and bad movement mechanics. Trigger points in the lumbar area area are a common cause of low back pain. These lower points can also refer into the abdomen. Points that form in the cervical region will refer pain down the neck into the shoulder blade area.

The rectus femoris muscle is one of your quad muscles. It acts primarily to extend the knee but it also helps to flex the hip. This muscle is often overloaded from athletic activity, but it also can become chronically shortened from prolonged sitting. Trigger points will refer pain deep into the knee producing a deep ache felt into the joint.