What Are Trigger Points? Can I Treat themMyself?
Trigger points cause pain more often than any other condition, are drastically under-diagnosed due to lack of information. Trigger points are specific, hyperirritable and hypersensitive areas in muscle that suffer from decreased circulation, increased contraction and spasm. Lack of circulation creates a high anomaly of toxins and increased nerve sensitivity that can range from low ache to sharp pain. Now just because the trigger point causes the pain does not mean that the spot is painful itself. When the pain causing spot is painful it is called a primary trigger point. However, pain can also manifest itself in areas away from the active trigger point – such pain is called referred pain.
A significant trigger point nodule can often be noticed as a small lump in the muscle, usually no larger than a pea. Less substantial trigger points are not so noticable by a lump, but are easy to find anyway – just search your own muscles for the spots that feel most tender; they will transmit pain pain when you press on them. You may not be able to locate a trigger point by feel, but it will always hurt when you press on it.
It is not uncommon to find a “taut band” of muscle stemming from an advanced trigger point; this taut band will feel much like a small cable. These taut bands extend from the trigger point outward and can be mistaken for a tendon, and it is these taut bands, brought on by trigger points, that keep your muscle in a state of tension. Taut bands that are found in shoulder muscles are directly attributable to lack of shoulder movement. The bad news is that left untreated, the trigger point will worsen and the taut band will become more taut, freezing up your shoulder joint more and more. To free up your shoulder mobility, it is hugely important to:
Find the location of the trigger points that are freezing up your shoulder joint.
Eliminate these trigger points as soon as possible, to escape the downward spiral toward worsening adhesive capsulitis.