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Headaches, cramps, and muscle pains – these are the common symptoms of the muscle condition Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is usually associated with muscular spasms and trigger points. In medical circles, fibromyalgia and trigger points are closely interconnected. This is for the reason that trigger points are the hallmark of fibromyalgia. Trigger points play a large part in identifying whether a person has fibromyalgia or not.

What you must know about trigger points

Basically, a trigger point is a small contraction knot in your muscle. This knot can be relatively small or relatively large in size. It is connected to muscle fibers; thus when it contracts, the contraction reverberates into the muscle. Trigger points are usually located either in the muscle itself or in the fascia, the thin wrapping around each muscle. The trigger points in the fascia are what we call myofascial trigger points. They are different from the trigger points that can be felt on the skin, ligaments and tendons, and the scar tissue.

Trigger points or TPs is different from muscular spasms. The trigger point is a contraction on a specific, and sometimes, rather small part of the muscle; whereas, a muscular spasm can be characterized as a violent contraction of the whole muscle.

Now you may wonder why trigger points are called such. The analogy of the TP is connected to the notion of “pulling the trigger of a gun”. When you pull the trigger, the gun makes a noise but it also sends out a bullet to a distant target. Like guns, TPs are painful when you press them; but then again, these TPs may be the cause of yet another TP in another part of your body.

Identifying trigger points

The pain caused by TPs is oftentimes referred to as steady, dull and aching, often deep. You can feel it either when your resting, or only when your moving. Pain can vary from being a tolerable discomfort to being excruciatingly severe.

Of all TPs, the myofascial trigger points are the most common. However, they are also the poorly recognized and inadequately managed. TPs cannot be seen on X-rays and scans that is why some medical practitioners and orthopedic surgeons do not know whether ir exists or not.

Trigger points are known to cause headaches, neck and jaw pain, low back pain, and many kinds of joint pain. It is usually mistaken as arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and ligament injury because the symptoms are basically similar.

Apart from these, trigger points can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, lack of normal range of movement and dizziness. Nasal congestion, nausea, heartburn, and false heart pain are also counted as effects. Medical researches show that chronic pain attacks due to trigger points can cause depression.

What causes trigger points?

Knowing where a trigger point is important. Trigger points do not necessarily hurt all the times. As a matter of fact, you would only realize that they hurt, when you’re actually pressing them. Development of tight bands in muscles happens as we age. However, there are a lot of people who get it for various reasons. A trigger point could actually start or develop from an acute muscular strain such as excessive exercise, car accidents and such. When there is a chronic overload of the muscles as manifested by poor sitting, working or sleeping habits, the possibility of having trigger points is heightened.

Poor general health can worsen your trigger points. Stress, infections, and hormonal imbalance are some of the major reasons for the worsening of TPs. For these reasons, it is important that one should watch and maintain a healthy lifestyle so as to prevent TPs from generating.



Source by Dr. Raj Banerjee

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