Trigger Points 

Trigger Points – An Overview

A trigger point is an extremely sensitive knot like a node that is present in the muscle tissue. These points are painful to touch and even the slightest pressure can result in excruciating pain. Trigger points might cause referred pain – that is – the pain on touching the trigger point might travel to other parts of the body. Stress and physical exertion also cause a trigger point of pain to increase. Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) occurs when too many trigger points cause chronic pain.


Trigger points are of two types:

 

  • Active Trigger Point: It is a muscle node that is very sensitive and tender causing localized pain or referred pain.

  • Passive Trigger Point: It is a trigger point that is dormant unless pressurized. However, due to stress, pressure, and overload, this point can trigger pain.

What causes Trigger Points?

There can be various reasons why trigger points are formed. These conditions are:

 

  • Making repetitive movements on a regular basis leading to physical exertion and injuries.

  • Lifting or carrying weight for prolonged periods of time. This includes tasks like weightlifting or holding a child.

  • Certain occupations, like desk jobs, might lead to poor posture thereby straining the muscles.

  • Chronic psychological and emotional stress causing unconscious muscle strain and clenching.

  • Injuries or trauma due to accidents or sports activities.

  • Living an inactive life without any exercise.

  • Having vitamin deficiencies.

  • Poor sleep due to disturbances.

  • Underlying conditions such as arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, certain neurological disorders, bursitis, and tendonitis.

 

 

Symptoms of Trigger Points

Generally, pain is the main symptom linked to triggering points. But there are other symptoms too that might indicate the formation of trigger points.

 

A patient can feel severe muscle pain and stiffness due to trigger points. Apart from pain, the trigger points restrict and limit the motion of the person. A person experiences pain points as if something is stuck in the muscles causing discomfort. Trigger points might cause referred pain which basically is a pain that has traveled to other parts but has origins somewhere else. There can be continuous pain due to the trigger point even when the body is at rest.

Diagnosis and Treatment at Dunes Pain

There are no trigger point specific tests or scans that are present.

 

At Dunes Pain Clinic, our physicians might get a detailed overview of a person’s medical history and do physical examinations. The physician can check whether there is referred pain or not. Muscle tightness and occurrence of tender spots might be checked. The physician can put pressure to reproduce the pain so as to verify the trigger point. A patient’s sitting posture and range of motion can also be examined.

 

After a detailed physical examination, the treatment for trigger points begins. The experts at Dunes Pain Clinic are well-versed with both invasive and non-invasive treatment methods. A combination of various therapy techniques might be used to tackle trigger point pain.

  • Medication: To relieve a person from pain, over-the-counter (OTC) NSAID analgesics like ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs like Valium, antidepressants like Cymbalta, and opioid-based drugs might be prescribed.

  • Steroid Injection: An injection containing a concoction of steroids and anesthetics might be administered into the pain spot.

  • Physical Therapy: A number of exercises and stretches might be prescribed so as to relax the muscles. Massages also provide great relief in trigger point pain.

  • Alternative Therapies: Therapies like acupuncture and acupressure might be performed to provide pain relief.

 

All of these therapies can be combined in order to provide customized treatment to the patient.

 

Contact Dunes Pain for comprehensive treatment for your trigger point pain!