What is a Trigger Point?People suffering from myofascial pain may experience a limited range of motion and targeted pain from a knot in the muscle called a ‘trigger point’, that form in a muscle when it is unable to relax. Trigger points cause both pain in a pinpointed area of a muscle, as well as referred pain, which occurs outside the trigger point by irritating the nerves around it.
Trigger points are the root cause behind myofascial pain which affects most people at some point in their lives.
Available Treatment OptionsLuckily, there are a variety of options to help with managing, or even relieving persistent trigger point pain. The best option for your needs depends on your budget, schedule, threshold of pain, and overall health.
Massage therapy is one of the more affordable options to manage trigger point pain. Any licensed physical therapist,or massage therapist will physically ‘work out’ the knot to release tension from the inflamed muscle. The therapist will either apply pressure with a tool or their hands to warm the body increase blood circulation, and release the knot.
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Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections are another way to solve trigger point pain. This treatment requires a doctor to administer an injection of either saline or a local anesthetic to treat the inflamed area. The injection relieves the inflamed muscle and the relief can be instantaneous.
Dry NeedlingAnother approach is ‘Dry Needling’. This treatment is often referred to as the “deepest tissue release” because a solid needle is inserted directly into the muscle to stimulate the muscle tissue. The needles penetrate the sore muscles and cause relaxation, which relieves even the most persistent pain.
This process can damage the muscle tissue but will also encourage healing by promoting blood flow to the affected area. The needle is a foreign object inserted into your body, so your immune system will activate and a natural inflammatory reaction will occur. The intensity of pain you feel will depend on your threshold. Dry needling causes a twitching sensation, which can feel like a muscle cramp.
The aftereffects of this treatment are commonly some mild soreness and bruising.
What Will Work Best for You?
While there are options available to treat trigger point pain, there is no one treatment that is guaranteed to work over another - only you can know what works best for your body's needs. We recommend starting with a manual massage tool, which is currently the most inexpensive and convenient option, and working from there to find which treatment will best relieve your trigger point pain.