Planter fascitis is a painful condition affecting the bottoms of the feet. It involves inflammation and tightness of the planter fascia, which is a tough layer of connective tissue on the bottoms of the feet. Trigger points in the calf and foot muscles are a leading cause of planter fascitis. These points not only cause the muscle to become tight which in turn causes the fascia to be tight, but the trigger point pain referral patterns of these muscle will cause pain to be felt in the bottoms of the feet and heal. These causes are often overlooked leading to ineffective treatment and prolonged suffering.
The gluteus medius muscle is a mover and stabilizer of the hip. As a result this muscle is commonly overloaded and harbors trigger points. These trigger points can refer pain deep into the s.i. joint as well as into the low back and hip. Once developed, trigger points will not release on their own. A manual intervention such as trigger point massage therapy is needed to treat the area.
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.
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.