What is Trigger Point Pain & How We Can Help

It is crazy to think, but 75% -95% of muscular pain is primarily caused by a myofascial trigger point. So what are these trigger points? 

A myofascial trigger point is described: 

Figure A

Figure A

  • Pain is present at a discrete point (ex push on a hard spot on your shoulder and it hurts)
  • A nodule is embedded within a taut band in the muscle (you can feel a hard lump in a muscle)
  • Pressure on the spot (aka trigger point) reproduces pain symptoms and radiations in a specific distribution

A trigger point makes the muscle it is in shorter, fatter, and reduces its efficiency. This leads to pressure on the surrounding nerves and blood vessels. Observe the the contracted knots, in the Figure A, theses lead to trigger points.

What can Cause a Trigger Point

  • Muscle overuse
  • Habitual postures/habits
  • Slouched standing
  • Repetitive activities such as typing, looking down, sitting
  • Whiplash
  • Scoliosos
  • Driving
  • Sitting with one leg crossed over
  • Bad posture
  • Stress

The muscles are also not able to work effectively during the exercises above or with a trigger point. 

How We Can Help

Our office specializes in trigger point therapy techniques, including: 

Tsunami/ Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization: This is a myofascial (muscles and fascial fibers) release tool we use to break up scar adhesions deep in the muscles. This works well with problems that have lasted a few months. 

Dr. Scott Heppe is full body certified in Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) He is trained to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. After the problem area is identified he would treat the abnormal tissues by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

Electronic muscle stimulation works by recruiting multiples nerves at the same time and causing small, quick repetitions to help tire out contracted muscles. This feels like a deep massage. 

You will also receive stretches and exercises you can do at home to help speed up the healing rate.