A trigger point is a tender point under the skin where you may feel a “knot”. When you push on this area you will notice local pain and pain that radiates out. The muscles there often have trouble relaxing, which in turn causes decreased blood flow to the area and increased nerve firing that triggers pain. Trigger points also irritate nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body.
What causes trigger points?
Currently many researchers believe that acute trauma, repetitive microtrauma, lack of exercise, prolonged poor posture, vitamin deficiencies, sleep disturbances, and joint problems may all contribute to the formation of a trigger point.
Where are trigger points most commonly found on my body?
Common locations of trigger points are on the back of the neck, upper back, between shoulder blades, lower back, arms, legs and feet.
How do they present?
People often report persistent pain that can result in decreased range of motion. Trigger points in the neck and shoulders often manifest as tension headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and temporomandibular joint pain (jaw pain). Trigger points in the arm and legs can cause decreased range of motion as well as pain. Trigger points can also contribute to plantar fasciitis (a type of foot pain).