What are trigger points?
Trigger points are a painful condition which is often found in a person’s neck or back. Numerous trigger points can cause myofascial pain syndromes or fibromyalgia. Although someone with trigger points might say that they have “knots” in their muscles, and might even be able to feel these “knots” under their skin, their muscles are not actually knotted. Instead, a trigger point develops when a small portion of myofascia (the tissue covering the muscle) tightly contracts and the muscle fibers adheres to itself, cutting off its blood supply, causing inflammation, pain, and preventing the underlying muscle from working correctly. They can also cause a condition known as “referred pain,” which means that the pain is not felt in the knotted area, but rather referred to another part of the body. These referred pain syndromes can be quite painful and alarming. They may be a major factor in back and neck pain, as a cause and/or complication. Trigger points can accompany a wide variety of spinal conditions including, sciatica, disc bulges, whiplash, headaches, and scoliosis, just to name a few.