Trigger Points, The Pandemic and the Rise of Home Office Pains
Millions of Americans spent a great deal of time the last 14 months in unfamiliar workspaces. Students have moved from the classroom to the kitchen table, moms and dads are hunkered down in upstairs offices or crammed in small spaces that offer just enough quiet at home to take a Zoom meeting while all ergonomic considerations are thrown aside. The results of all this: sore shoulders, tight backs, ‘tech neck’, barking feet, sciatica, neck pain. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the pandemic has led to an increase in back and neck pain due to a variety of factors: less exercise, psychological stress, poor posture and home office setups.
With all that said, it’s a good time for a refresher on trigger points, as they’re the actual culprit areas on the body that cause the discomfort when it comes to back and neck pain of this type.
What are Trigger Points Again?
Trigger points feel like marbles or knots just under the skin. Sometimes, they can become very sensitive, and cause significant pain in target areas. They are also defined as hyper-irritable areas associated within a taut band of muscle that are painful upon compression, contraction, or stretching of the muscle and often refer pain more distant to the location of the taut band.
They’re also involuntary tight tender spots in a contracted muscle. This creates pain and dysfunction within the muscle. They are in parts of the muscle where there is decreased circulation, increased muscle contraction, spasm and increased nerve sensitivity causing a sharp pain or a constant ache. They also can cause referred pain, or pain felt in other parts of the body.
How Can They Form?
All muscles contract and relax and they do so by charging and discharging the fibers with different body chemicals. One theory states that trigger points form from excessive release of a chemical called acetylcholine, which produces a sustained depolarization of muscle fibers, leading to a sustained contraction. One of the most common causes for trigger point discomfort is from poor posture.
Additionally, there’s a myriad of ways in which they can form: physical overload, repetitive use, poor nutrition, inflammation, trauma, accidents, breaks, sports injuries and physical and psychological stressors.
What is Trigger Point Therapy?
You can control, decrease or eliminate your muscle pain by treating trigger points yourself. When pressure is applied to the trigger point, the pain-spasm cycle is interrupted which helps stop the contraction making the pain go away.
The Body Back Company strives to provide simple, affordable massage tools for those who do not have access to professional massage therapists. Our most popular and versatile tool, the Body Back Buddy, can be used in a variety of different trigger point release techniques and allows you to effectively reach your lower back and shoulders.
How to effectively release trigger points:
To treat trigger points apply sustained pressure for a period long enough to release the muscle spasm, about 10-30 seconds to deactivate it, release and relax the muscle. This increases blood flow to the muscle normalizing it and bringing it back to a healthy state. This procedure is one of the most powerful yet simple ways to treat muscle pain and discomfort. We’ve created a free Trigger Point Chart, which includes Fybromyalgia treatment and reflexology information. To download your free copy click the link below.
Free Download: Trigger Point, Reflexology & Fybromyalgia Treatment Chart