Trigger points are tight knots/ taut bands in muscles that either produce pain locally or in a referred pattern. Compression of such points usually brings about a short period of soreness and discomfort and sometimes even elicit pain in areas away from the point of compression. This is usually accompanied by a twitch of the muscle and some patients tend to describe it as a ‘good pain’ or something which they felt is needed to bring about a relief.
Causes of trigger points may include repetitive microtrauma due to overuse of the muscles and poor posture. Some studies have shown an increase in level of inflammatory marker and chemicals such as cytokines around areas of trigger points and this could possibly be a reaction to the overload and microtrauma that has been taking place.
Treatment pain caused by trigger points include trigger point release which involves applying firm pressure on them for a period of time and then followed up by stretching exercises. Other treatment may include postural education as well as strengthening under utilised muscles to help minimise the demand on the painful muscles.