Trigger points, also called muscle knots, are hyperirritable or sensitive spots of the skeletal muscles’ fascia. When pressed on, they can cause a shortening of muscle fibers and produce a symptom called ‘referred pain’. It means that a trigger point in a specific muscle area can create pain in another area. For instance, a trigger point on your trapezius (shoulder) muscle will often cause pain up to the side of your neck.
Dubai physiotherapy clinic practitioners observe for a ‘jump sign’ as a characteristic behavioral response when pressure is applied on a trigger point. Individuals move involuntarily and jerk some other part of the body that is not being palpated such as the head or shoulders. Patients often report being startled because of intense pain. Other indicators of trigger points include stiffness, spot tenderness, palpable taut, warm sensation of the affected area, and loss of elasticity.
What Causes Trigger Points?
Common factors cited for the formation of these spots include repetitive mechanical stress, poor posture, non-restorative sleep, de-conditioning, joint disorders, mechanical imbalance, and vitamin deficiencies. Damage to muscle and connective tissues can also result in trigger points. These can occur in several ways:
- Injuries from repetitive overuse of the same body parts in the same way hundreds of times daily, such as typing, using a mouse, using handheld electronics, gardening, household chores, etc.
- Poor posture due to habit or the use of non-ergonomically designed furniture
- Sustained loading with heavy lifting, for example carrying boxes, babies, or lifting bedridden patients
- Direct injury to the tissues (e.g. blow, strain, tear, twist) which usually happen in sports injuries, car accidents, falling down the stairs, etc.
- Inactivity such as in prolonged sitting or bed rest.
How Can Trigger Point Therapy Help?
Too many trigger points are referred to as myofascial pain syndrome. It is associated with chronic pain caused by the sensitivity and tightness of the affected tissues. The pain is often difficult to localize. Patients with this condition are treated through trigger point therapy or myofascial release massage. It reduces the pain by easing tension and tightness caused by the trigger points.
This type of manual therapy involves locating the stiff myofascial areas and then applying rubbing and pressing motions using light pressure. The manipulation is repeated multiple times on the same trigger point and its surrounding areas until the therapist feels that the tension and rigidness are fully released. Or, if the patient’s motion is restored. Trigger point therapy is an underrated, safe back pain treatment especially for symptoms that don’t respond well to anything else.
Patients with myofascial pain syndrome can greatly benefit from trigger point treatment. It is also recommended to individuals experiencing back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, or any pain containing soft tissue, and loss of flexibility and function after an injury. Each session will last at least 30 to 50 minutes or more and will be conducted daily or every few days over a few weeks or months depending on the nature of the disability.
Whether you’re looking for trigger point therapy, back pain relief, or neck pain treatment, you can rely on the experts at Scandinavian Physiotherapy Center to provide you with the best options. We are offering a wide range of specialties to help patients towards their road to recovery. Book an appointment today at +971 4 551 6126 or visit our website!