Much of the neuromuscular issues we face, in particular chronic pain, arise from the presence of trigger points within our muscles. But what exactly is a trigger point? How and why do they form? And what’s the best way to treat and prevent them from forming?
Trigger points are formed due to muscle overuse, injury, or stress, leading to the accumulation of metabolic waste in the muscle fibres. This results in a tight knot or spasm, which can then refer pain to other parts of the body. Poor posture, repetitive motions, and prolonged inactivity can also contribute to trigger point formation.
Trigger points form due to the accumulation of tension, stress, or muscle overuse in a specific area, causing the muscle fibres to tighten and knot. These can result in a palpable nodule and causes pain that can spread to other areas, however, some trigger points are ‘latent’, and can’t be physically palpated. Trigger points can also refer pain to in different areas of the body, and are often the cause of muscle weakness or reduced range of motion.
When left untreated, a ‘vicious cycle’ occurs, where the negative impacts of the trigger points further exacerbate symptoms, with the tightness and tension at the trigger point causing further tightness at the trigger point. Not only does it affect the area of the original trigger point, but due to the reduced function and strength of the muscle unit affected, compensation occurs, placing further stress, tension and a perfect opportunity for the overuse of the compensatory muscle, leading further muscle vulnerable to trigger point formation.
Treating trigger points involves breaking the pain cycle caused by the tight muscle fibres.
Treatment methods we use alongside Sigma Q technology
1. Myofascial Release Therapy: using manual pressure to release the tight muscle fibres
2. Stretching and Exercise: to improve flexibility and loosen tight muscles
3. Heat/Ice Therapy: to reduce pain and inflammation
4. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to manage pain
5. Massage Therapy: to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation
6. Physical Therapy: to develop a targeted exercise program to improve strength and flexibility.
It's important to note that a combination of the treatments above is normally necessary for effective trigger point therapy. It's also important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment and have a bespoke plan to suit your injury, needs and lifestyle.
If you are suffering from pain or tightness, or have any questions, please feel free to get in contact and discuss how we can help restore your quality of life.