A Patient's Guide to Trigger Points
At Kleefeld Chiropractic patients often present with painful knots in muscles called "trigger points." These focal, hyperirritable nodules typically found in shortened and tight muscles are a common source of pain.
Trigger points develop following injury, when chronic inflammation exists, or oftentimes from the microtrauma of poor posture. They are especially common in individuals who round their shoulders and forward carry their head. With this forward head carriage headaches are a common symptom.
Like many others, Dr. Kleefeld recommends that trigger points found on examination be classified as being either active or latent, depending on their clinical characteristics. Active trigger points are tender and cause pain at rest. When firm pressure is applied the characteristic pain is reproduced and the involved muscles frequently "twitch." Latent trigger points are tight muscular bands but are not currently producing symptoms.
When active trigger points are identified Dr. Kleefeld's treatment recommendations include the following:
Deactivating active trigger points with pulsed ultrasound and interferential current.
In cases where muscles are found to be shortened, elongating the involved muscle using a combination of passive therapy such as massage and active therapy such as contract relax stretching is often effective.
Patient instruction in stretching the involved muscles. This minimizes the chance that the involved muscles will return to positions where trigger points are likely to redevelop.
When trigger points are chronic and associated with underlying joint dysfunction, manipulation to restore mobility is recommended.
Occasionally trigger points only become inactive with cortisone injections.
Correction of any perpetuating factors such as poor ergonomics, poor posture and muscle deconditioning.
Should you require any additional information, contact Dr. Kleefeld today!