Trigger points, commonly known as muscle knots, are hyperirritable spots on a skeletal muscle. These “micro-cramps” are often found in specific patterns along connective tissue and typically result from repeated microtrauma, muscle strains, or injuries. In certain cases, trigger points can be a symptom of chronic musculoskeletal disorders. According to The American Academy of Family Physicians, over 10% of the U.S. population suffers from chronic musculoskeletal system ailments that result in these painful trigger points, and they are the leading cause of disability in the working-age population. Learn about the symptoms of and treatments for trigger points to keep your body healthy and pain-free.
What are the symptoms of trigger points?
Painful trigger points commonly result in severe regional pain, persistent soreness, and a limited range of motion. Standard body postures become challenging with trigger points and decrease movement capabilities in the neck, shoulders, and pelvis. Other common symptoms include joint pain, tinnitus, tension headaches, and leg stiffness. Additionally, trigger points often exhibit referred pain patterns, which are discomforts felt at a spot in the body that is different than the location of the trigger point itself. Patients often report that referred pain causes a spreading or a radiating sensation.
What are the different types of trigger points?
Trigger points can be categorized as either active or latent trigger points depending on their characteristics. Active trigger points cause discomfort at rest, are sensitive to palpation, and often exhibit a referred pain pattern. A latent trigger point does not cause spontaneous discomfort, but it can limit muscle movement or generate muscle weakness. It is possible to only feel latent trigger points when pressure is applied to the specific area.
What are the treatment options for trigger points?
Trigger points are typically treated by manual methods or through injections. The decision on how to treat and manage trigger points is primarily determined by the nature and location of the trigger point and the expertise and recommendation of the physician. Manual treatment procedures are commonly recommended for patients with trigger points in early stages and at easily accessible locations. Trigger point injection is advised for more severe cases and those that exhibit sharp referred pain patterns.
Chiropractic care for trigger point therapy is a non-invasive, safe method used to relieve pain and to restore balance to the body and functionality of muscles.
Over the past decade, the chiropractors, physicians, and medical staff of All American Healthcare have worked relentlessly to help their patients live healthy and pain-free. We combine the absolute best in chiropractic pain relief, holistic medical pain management, physical medicine, and physical rehabilitation. Our staff of chiropractors, physicians, nurses, and medical assistants treats patients experiencing and suffering from low back pain, neck pain, knee arthritis, disc herniations, spinal stenosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and migraines. We also treat patients who have been injured in a car accident. All of our consultations are free, and insurance often covers the cost of your medical care!