What is a Trigger Point?

Myofascial pain syndrome arises when your muscles develop small, tender knots called trigger points. These focal areas of sustained muscle contraction slow the clearing of waste products, leading to discomfort. The postural muscles of the lower back, neck, shoulders, hips, and jaw are most commonly affected. Trigger points can develop following an injury, but more commonly, they arise from ongoing stressors like overuse, poor posture, lack of sleep, or even vitamin deficiencies. The condition frequently accompanies other muscle and joint problems. During your exam, your provider was able to identify the specific trigger points that are causing your problem. Applying pressure to these taut band points causes deep, dull, and achy discomfort - sometimes distant from the problem's origin. Some patients experience tightness, stiffness, and difficulty finding a comfortable sleep position. New trigger points may resolve reasonably quickly. However, the longer this problem sticks around, the more challenging it is to fix. One study found that without treatment, myofascial pain syndrome can persist for an average of five years. In addition to helping you feel better quickly, our treatment goals include resolving the factors that caused these knots. Your treatment will involve stretching and strengthening exercises to help eliminate imbalances and postural stress. The importance of performing your home exercises regularly cannot be overstated. Some patients find relief from self-massage tools like a foam roller, ball, or massager- but check with us before using any of these tools. Staying physically active will help you recover more quickly. Stress-reduction techniques like yoga, tai chi, meditation, and breathing can be helpful. Make sure that you stay well hydrated to help flush away any accumulated waste products.

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