Myofascial Trigger Points are Explained!
As the diagram shows, trigger points, tender points or myofascial trigger points are synonymous. The picture shows the current models of why some patients have muscle tender points that seem to worsen with stress or other “triggers”. The clinical scenario is usually depicted as follows: when the clinician palpates known muscles along its origin to its insertion, the patient subjectively feels pain that seems to shoot, refer or “trigger” down a nonspecific, nondermatomal, nonmyotomal pattern. Often times, the pain is purely localized but the clinician can palpate these points readily, and under experienced hands, the clinician can feel the taut band or area of very tight soft tissue or muscle in relation to the surrounding “nontender” muscles or structures. Many times, mere palpation leads to a localized histamine release and cause immediate redness at the site of direct pressure. I tell my students to palpate with the thumb and press firmly enough to cause the nail beds of the thumb to turn white to apply enough baseline pressure.
Common sources of trigger points correlate to many known acupuncture points and it is for this reason, understanding myofascial points can give us a glimpse of what is happening at the known acupuncture points when they do correlate.
Our next blog article will show How Acupuncture May Help Cure trigger points or at least treat it. We will also present some new insights into trigger points that can pave the way for adjunctive treatments such as supplements, herbs and nutrition
Bron, C. Etiology of myofascial trigger points. Current Pain Headache Rep. 2012. 16:439-444
Dommerholt, J. Bron, C. Franssen, J. Myofascial trigger points: An Evidence –Informed Review The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy Vol. 14 No. 4 (2006), 203 – 221