Monday, November 1, 2010

What are Trigger Points?

What are Trigger Points, and why do I hear so much about them?

Trigger Point Diagram
As you flip through the endless channels on your television, it’s very easy to find commercials for numerous products that treat “Trigger Points” or symptoms of muscle spasm.
I wanted to take a minute and explain to you further about what the big deal is on these issues.
A person’s body is made up of a large percentage of nerves, muscles, and bone.  This fact is coupled with over 88% of people at some time in their life having back/neck pain it’s no wonder that stiffness, spasm, irritation, pain, or trigger points are so common.
How’s your morning? Many times in our office we hear patients tell us that they feel 30 years older than they are when they first wake up in the morning. Does this describe you? Do your muscles feel tight, your joints creak, and do your aches keep you from sleeping in those extra few minutes?
What are Trigger Points? These are tender, sensitive areas that when pressed, stuck, or pushed are  painful. These can be found when you don’t even know they are there. A very common way is when someone presses a part of you that brings about pain you didn’t even know you had. The trigger points are common in fibromyalgia, chronic muscle spasm, strain/sprain, and other muscle/joint problems.  These pesky trigger points can also give you referred pain to other parts of your body as well.
How do I get them?   Trigger points are most commonly the result of overdoing of an activity or trauma to an area.
·         Acute--- From lifting, bending, twisting, or too much load on your muscle with heavy weights.
·         Chronic—repetitive activities: typing, texting, work-related, rounded shoulders, bad posture, or weak core muscles in your spine.
·         A common amount of spine issues such as facet joint dysfunction, disc issues can be a cause due to increased tension on a muscle due to protective spasm.
·         A trigger point can also be from health issues tightening the muscle areas.
What do I do to get rid of them?
One of the primary things to do is to A) correct the problem that is contributing to or causing the trigger points through Chiropractic Adjustments.  B) Once that problem has been addressed, begin stretching program to break down the trigger points.  Other non-chiropractic techniques for these trigger points are injections in the trigger point that can help reduce can relax the muscle and help to eliminate the trigger point, as relaxing the muscle improves blood flow and healing.
Treatments of these issues are something we address each and every day in our office. If you have any symptoms like these, or know someone who does, please feel free to contact our office at (270)-746-9400.

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