A trigger point is best described as a spot or point in a muscle that refers a sensation, pain or weakness, to another area of our bodies.
For example, a trigger point in your upper trap muscle may cause a referral pattern into the side of the head, behind the ear (pictured to the right).
Trigger points are very common and can occur within any muscle of the body. Patients that have trigger points often report persistent pain that results in decreased range of motion of that muscle.
The most common muscles affected are in the head and neck area, which can development into other symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, ringing in the ear, and eye pain.
Some causes of trigger points
- Recent or long-term injury
- Lack of exercise
- Poor posture over long periods of time
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Sleep disturbances
- Work-related/recreational activities that cause repetitive stress
Some ways to manage trigger points:
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Non-invasive modalities such as ultrasound, laser, or electrical stimulation (for example, a TENS machine, which sends small electrical pulses through the skin to change the way pain signals are sent to our brain)
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or ask me next time you are in the office. If you enjoyed this blog post make sure click the Facebook “Like” button above and share it with family and friends!