Trigger points are small, hyper irritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They produce pain locally and in a referred pattern and often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders.
Acute trauma or repetitive micro trauma may lead to the development of the formation of them. They may also manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJD), decreased range of motion in the legs, and low back pain.
Pressing of the knot will elicit pain directly at the affected area. It might also cause referral of pain toward beyond the are of the trigger point.
Active and Passive Trigger Points
There are two types of trigger points that you should be aware of: active and passive. Passive ones simply hurt at their exact location and do not refer pain elsewhere.
An active trigger point refers pain to another part of the body. For example,the SCM muscle on the neck can refer pain to the shoulders,the jaw and even the forehead. It can create satellite trigger points in all these locations as well.
At Home Trigger Point Therapy
One of the best ways to handle handle the pain due to these tight muscle knots is to learn to self treat your condition. This may include performing self-massage and trigger point releases. These may include:
- Using a Back-Nobber to apply pressure on your trigger points to release them
- Rolling over a tennis ball to apply pressure on your muscle knots to release them
- Foam rolling over your muscles to help smooth out the muscle knots and release them slowly
- Stretching your muscles to release the tightness
- Using heat to loosen your muscles.
Self Massage is also a great way to release trigger points. To do that you just need your fingers and a few minutes. Here is how to do it quickly and effectively
- Using your finger tips gently rub the trigger point in a circular motion
- Follow this by applying firm pressure, directly on the trigger point, for approximately 1 minute