A knot is scar tissue created by chronic stress in the muscles which results in micro-tearing. If left untreated the muscle tissue will lose elasticity and can even cause postural stress that is difficult to reverse. A trigger point is fairly similar and is described as a hyperirritable nodule and can be painful or sensitive to the touch.
When pressure is applied (doesn’t even have to be very much pressure) a sensation of pain, numbness, tingling, or some other related sensations radiate from the point to other areas of the body and is not associated by nerves or other segments of the dermis.
What causes trigger points?
Repetitive and overuse injuries (using the same body parts in the same way many times on a daily basis) from activities; such as typing, use of a mobile device, driving, gardening, etc.
Sustained loading as with heavy lifting, carrying babies, purses/bags, boxes etc.
Routinely poor posture due to a sedentary lifestyle, de-conditioning, and poorly designed furniture (sitting at a desk or on the couch).
Muscle clenching and tensing due to mental/emotional stress.
Direct injury such as a blow, strain, break, twist or tear; examples: car accidents, sports injuries, falling, etc.
Inactivity such as prolonged bed rest or sitting.
What can be done to treat trigger points? Exercising regularly, hydration, and massage are all great ways to help with treatment. There are several different massage techniques that can be used to break down this scar tissue. Releasing the central trigger point usually results in release or reduction of the corresponding trigger points. Trust me, it may be a painful process getting rid of the trigger points, but you will feel so much better and notice an increase in your range of motion that it will be well worth it. The pain experienced during trigger point therapy may be intense but it doesn’t last.