What exactly are trigger points?

4 de outubro de 2019

Along the structure of the musculoskeletal system, there are points that can become painful when there is a disturbance – physical or emotional. This occurs due to factors such as muscle injuries, stress, nutrient deficiency and overall trauma. In these situations, a lump appears in the muscle and it is very touch sensitive. The places where these nodules are located, which cause pain to patients, are what we call trigger points.

Trigger points can appear on any tensioned body area. Whether in muscles, tendons or ligaments. These tensioned places may even affect blood circulation and cause the person to lose their mobility.

Trigger Point Causes

The most affected muscles are those of the cervical region, shoulder girdle, lower back, shoulder and pelvic girdle. However, before treating trigger points, it is necessary to know the factors that caused the tension in the patient. The main causes are:

Lack or over exercise

A trigger point may show up more easily in areas that are not frequently moved. The absence of mobility causes tensions and pain on the patient. Nevertheless, the same is likely to happen if there is an overload of movements on a certain body region.

Repetitive effort

Repetitive effort can provoke various types of pathologies. This happens because the process of adapting the body to this kind of movements was not done correctly (most likely without a professional supervision). As a result, this effort may cause muscle tensions that will form trigger points.

Physical or emotional stress

The stress often caused by a hectic lifestyle also reflects on the patient physical condition, making muscle and fascia tension very common.

Bad posture problems

Improper posture directly affects the muscles. It is important to advise patients to pay attention to keeping the spine erect. The moments that require the most care are those when they stay standing or sitting for a long time. Especially in daily activities at work or school, which require staying in the same position during hours.

Direct trauma

In this case, the tension is caused by some impact the patient has suffered in a particular body region, due to a fall for example.

What is the most appropriate treatment?

trigger points
Image: Shutterstock

Treatments aim to strengthen the muscles and improve joint flexibility. In some cases, professionals indicate the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatories. But there are ways to release trigger points without taking medication. For this, we use a technique that efficiently relieves pain and improves patients quality of life: the Myofascial Release.

This method objective is to manipulate the soft tissue that surrounds the entire human body – known as fascia. Myofascial release removes adhesions between fascial tissue and muscles, relieving the pain caused by trigger points while releasing them. Furthermore, it allows fluid and nutrient circulation to return to its natural and adequate state!

The technique can both be applied manually or instrumentally. The difference is that, with tools, it is not necessary to apply force on the patient with bare fingers – what avoids hand fatigue, even if the therapist performs the procedure several times a day. Besides, it is more efficient for the patient, since, by using specific accessories, the professional can achieve deeper tissues that, otherwise, would be out of reach.

There are also other advantages brought by our Reabilitech Gatilhex Line that we would like to present to you. Our tools are made of stainless steel, which makes them extremely durable, sterilizable and maintenance free. All parts of the kit are anatomically designed, so you have more comfort during your work.

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