Trigger points are small spasms in your muscle. They are unusual in that they can cause pain where they are located – or they can refer pain to another place. When a trigger point refers pain to another place, it’s called a ‘pain referral pattern.’
These patterns are very predictable. They were mapped out by Dr. Janet Travell in the 1960’s and plotted on trigger point charts. By referring to these charts, you can trace back the source of muscle pain to the exact trigger which causes it.
Trigger point muscle pain afflicts many people. It can be set off by arthritis, injuries, bad posture, stress or conditions like fibromyalgia. While it’s not always possible to get rid of triggers all together, you can start an effective treatment and exercise program. And the first step in any treatment program is to map out and pinpoint the areas that need treatment.
To find the areas of spasm in your muscle, you need to narrow down the search by area. Start by isolating the general areas of pain – for example your shoulder. Then use pain referral charts to generate a list of which triggers may be causing the pain.
Once you have list of possible muscle culprits, examine the muscle itself for triggers. You’ll know that you’ve found an active point when you press on it – and it recreates your pain. At this point, it’s a good idea to mark on your chart the exact location of the point. This way, you can get an accurate picture of which exact points are triggering your muscle spasms.
Sometimes pain can be caused by multiple triggers in the muscle. This cluster of muscle tension needs to be unravelled. This involves switching off the triggers one by one until the area is relaxed. Once you have tracked down all the possible sources of muscle pain, you can stretch out the muscle for an even more effective treatment.
Source by Naomi Kendell