Trigger points are localised hyper-irritable spots - lumps or nodules beneath the skin and within the belly of a muscle which can be palpated. They can be very painful and reproduce patterns of referred and radiating pain.
Myofascial trigger points are implicated in all types of musculo-skeletal and mechanical pain.
Evidence shows that when a muscle is relaxed state & not contracted its electrical signal is silent, however when a trigger point is present within a muscle that trigger point generates and receives minute electrical currents causing a localised spike in electrical activity.
Evidence shows within a triggerpoint there is localised tissue hypoxia ( deprived of adequate oxygen supply), increased acute inflammatory cascade and lowered pH levels called acidosis ( increased acidity in the blood and other body tissue)
Both of these are serious states for the body as cells require oxygen and the correct pH levels as anything outside the normal range result in irreversible cell damage.
It is therefore not surprising that muscle function is compromised, compensatory muscle patterns occur and the patient feels a warning massage in the form of pain.
Acupuncture, acupressure and trigger points could be said to overlap, Chinese and western acupuncture points are said to be localised concentrations points of energy.
Trigger points are more common in postural slow twitch type 1 aerobic muscle fibres and tend to respond to overuse and stress by shortening and becoming hypertonic, they often take longer to treat because of the need for postural correction programme to deal with the original reason for the overuse syndrome. Type 2 are anaerobic and respond quicker to treatment.
It is shown that bad posture leads to muscle overuse and the build up of trigger points, given our desk culture and stress levels these points often are in the upper back and neck reproducing sharp pain on touch. The referred pain often leads a path over the top of head and around the eye and consistent with the production headaches and migraines.
Our bodies will adapt to what we do most and postural patterns are learnt, we are not well suited to spend hours at a desk or in a driving position. Over time our muscles adapt shorten and are susceptible to overuse syndromes to produce these occupational mal-adaptations. The end result is our body complains and produces pain and we generally reach for the painkillers to silence the messenger relieve the symptoms as a quick fix.
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