Myofascial trigger points and pain.

TP’s were first brought to the attention of the medical world by Dr. Janet G. Travell. Dr. Travell, physician to President John F. Kennedy, is the acknowledged Mother of Myofascial Trigger Points. In fact, “Trigger Point massage, the most effective modality used by massage therapists for the relief of pain, is based almost entirely on Dr. Travell’s insights.”2 Dr. Travell’s partner in her research was Dr. David G. Simons, a research scientist and aerospace physician.

Trigger Points are very common. In fact, Travell and Simons state that TP’s are responsible for, or associated with, 75% of pain complaints or conditions.1 With this kind of prevalence, it’s no wonder that TP’s are often referred to as the “scourge of mankind”.

Trigger Points can produce a wide variety of pain complaints. Some of the most common are migraine headaches, back pain, and pain and tingling into the extremities. They are usually responsible for most cases of achy deep pain that is hard to localize.

A TP will refer pain in a predictable pattern, based on its location in a given muscle. Also, since these spots are bundles of contracted muscle fibres, they can cause stiffness and a decreased range of motion. Chronic conditions with many TP’s can also cause general fatigue and malaise, as well as muscle weakness.

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Gluteus medius trigger points.

The Gluteus medius is located in your hip. It is important for hip stability, and functions to abduct the hip. When trigger points form in this muscle pain can be felt deep into the sacrum and the hip, as well as down the lateral thigh. Trigger points in this muscle are an often overlooked source of low back and sacral pain.

How to treat a stiff, sore neck.

One of the most common issues that I treat in my clinic on a regular basis is neck stiffness and pain. This is a prevelent problem in our society in large part due to poor posture. Sitting in front of a computer at work all day, or being on you phone will eventually cause the muscles in you neck to become strained and over worked. When this happens the muscles become tight and sore. At this point all the stretching in the world won’t make a difference. A manual intervention such as trigger point massage is needed to allow the muscles to heal and function normally again.

What are trigger points.

What is a Trigger Point?

Trigger Points (TP’s) are defined as a “hyper-irritable spot within a taut band of skeletal muscle. The spot is painful on compression and can evoke characteristic referred pain and autonomic phenomena.”1

Put into plain language, a TP is a painful knot in muscle tissue that can refer pain to other areas of the body. You have probably felt the characteristic achy pain and stiffness that TP’s produce at some time in your life.

Trigger points in the upper traps.

One of the most common issues that I treat on a daily basis is trigger points in the upper traps. The trapezius muscle or “traps” is a large diamond shaped muscle located in you back and neck. The upper portion of this muscle is one on the most common areas to become strained due to poor posture or emotional stress. When this

happens trigger points are sure to develop. These points will cause pain to be felt up the neck, behind the ear, and traveling to the temple. Trigger points in the upper traps are one of the most common causes of headache pain, as well as a stiff neck.

Trigger points in the diaphragm

The diaphragm is the major muscle of respiration. It’s main action is to increase the volume of the thoracic cavity during inhalation. Trigger points form in this muscle due to asthma, emotional overload, disk problems, weak abdominals, hyperventilating, smoking, and poor posture. When trigger points form they can cause a wide variety of symptoms including hyperventilation syndrome, heart and lung issues, as well as a “stitch” pain when running or exercising.

Causes of a stiff neck.

The levator scapulae muscle is located in your neck. It is responsible for raising your shoulder blade up to your ear, as well as side flexion of the neck. Trigger points develop in this muscle commonly due to poor posture, and stress holding patterns. Once developed these trigger points will cause a deep achy pain and stiffness in the neck.