Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points

By Andrew Orpiano ATC

Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points

Myofascial pain, also known as trigger points are hyper sensitive areas within the muscle. Trigger points within the muscle is chronic or develops over time due to repetitive stress on the muscle during activity or lack of muscle activity such as immobilization. Active and latent trigger points are two types individuals may experience but active trigger points are more common. If an individual has an active trigger point, they would present with extreme tenderness over the muscle and report local or regional pain. However, some trigger points may cause referred pain which symptoms may be felt in other areas in the body.

Trigger points can be usually found when palpating over the muscle and are described to be like a nodule. Individuals may complain of weakness or pain within the muscle during activity. Most trigger points or myofascial pain can be found in the muscles of the low back. For some athletes, trigger points can be found in their lower extremity muscles especially their calves.

Most trigger points or myofascial pain can be treated conservatively. Individuals experiencing myofascial pain may be recommended physical therapy. Some of the therapy treatments for triggers points may include but not limited to soft tissue mobilization or massage and stretching. For athletes, deep tissue massages, use of the foam rollers before and after activity, and stretching daily will help treat and reduce the symptoms of a trigger point.

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