Trigger points in a number of muscles can refer pain into the head causing headaches. One of the most common muscles is the trapezius. This is a large diamond shaped muscle in the upper back and neck. Trigger points in the upper portion of this muscle are the most common trigger points in the body. These points will refer pain into the head, behind the ear and into the temple. Trigger points usually won’t resolve on their own, a therapeutic intervention is required to release the point.
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.
The medial pteragoyd muscle is located on the inside of the jaw. It is responsible for jaw movements during talking and chewing. This muscle becomes over loaded from poor neck posture as well as stress resulting in grinding the teeth or excessive clenching of the jaw. Trigger points in this muscle will refer deep into the jaw and the tempomandibular joint producing “tmj dysfunction syndrome.
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 trapezius muscle or traps is a large muscle in the mid and upper back as well as the neck. This muscle plays an important role in shoulder and neck movement. With a chronic head forward shoulders rounded posture this muscle can become chronically overloaded and strained. When this happens trigger points can form. These points will refer pain into the neck, skull, and into the temple causing headaches. Trigger points won’t release by themselves, they need a manual technique like trigger point massage.
The sternocleidomastoid muscles are two strap like muscles located in the front of the neck. They are responsible for producing head movements like flexion, as well as rotating the head to the opposite side. These muscles often become chronically shortened due to poor posture such as sitting in front of a computer screen for to long. When this happens trigger points can form. These points will refer pain into the head, face, and skull producing headaches. Trigger points won’t resolve by themselves, a manual intervention like trigger point massage is required to cause a release.
the rhomboids are muscles located in your upper back. They lie underneath the trapezius muscle. These muscles are responsible for retracting your scapula, or pulling your shoulder blades back. Since poor posture causes the shoulders to round forward, the rhomboids are often strained. When this happens trigger points will form. These points cause deep achy pain to be felt along the shoulder blade. Once trigger points have formed they will not release on there own. A manual release such as trigger point massage is required.
Your lats, or your latissimus dorsi muscles are the largest muscles of the back. They are responsible for adducting and medially rotating the arm. This muscle also produces extension at the shoulder joint. When trigger points for In this muscle, they can refer pain into the back, down the inside of the arm into the hand. These trigger points can also cause pain to be felt into the front of the shoulder. Once formed trigger points will not release on there own. They require a manual release technique like trigger point massage.
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.