What Are Trigger Points?

Trigger points (TPs) are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They produce pain locally and in a referred pattern and often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma may lead to theWhat are trigger points development of stress on muscle fibers and the formation of trigger points.

Patients may have regional, persistent pain resulting in a decreased range of motion in the affected muscles. These include muscles used to maintain body posture, such as those in the neck, shoulders, and pelvic girdle. TPs may also manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, decreased range of motion in the legs, and low back pain. Palpation of a hypersensitive bundle or nodule of muscle fiber of harder than normal consistency is the physical finding typically associated with a trigger point. Palpation of the trigger point will elicit pain directly over the affected area and/or cause radiation of pain toward a zone of reference and a local twitch response.

Various modalities, such as the Spray and Stretch technique, ultrasonography, manipulative therapy and injection, are used to inactivate trigger points. Trigger-point injection has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment modalities to inactivate trigger points and provide prompt relief of symptoms.

DAVID J. ALVAREZ, D.O., and PAMELA G. ROCKWELL, D.O., University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Am Fam Physician. 2002 Feb 15;65(4):653-661.

 

Gluteus Medius Trigger Points and Low Back Pain

Shoulder and Neck Pain

Infraspinatus Pain and Trigger Points

Leg Pain
Gastrocnemius Pain and Trigger Points
Neck and Upper Back Pain
Trapezius Pain and Trigger Points

Hamstring Pain and Trigger Points

Back and Hip Pain
Piriformis Pain and Trigger Points