Trigger points can develop following an injury, but more commonly, they arise from ongoing stressors like overuse, poor posture, lack of sleep, or even vitamin deficiencies. The condition frequently accompanies other muscle and joint problems.
During your exam, your provider was able to identify the specific trigger points that are causing your problem. Applying pressure to these taut band points causes deep, dull, and achy discomfort - sometimes distant from the problem's origin. Some patients experience tightness, stiffness, and difficulty finding a comfortable sleep position.
New trigger points may resolve reasonably quickly. However, the longer this problem sticks around, the more challenging it is to fix. One study found that without treatment, myofascial pain syndrome can persist for an average of five years.
In addition to helping you feel better quickly, our treatment goals include resolving the factors that caused these knots. Your treatment will involve stretching and strengthening exercises to help eliminate imbalances and postural stress. The importance of performing your home exercises regularly cannot be overstated.
Some patients find relief from self-massage tools like a foam roller, ball, or massager- but check with us before using any of these tools. Staying physically active will help you recover more quickly. Stress-reduction techniques like yoga, tai chi, meditation, and breathing can be helpful. Make sure that you stay well hydrated to help flush away any accumulated waste products.
Discomfort lasting more than three months has the potential to lower your pain threshold and hyper-sensitize your perception of pain throughout your body. This change happens primarily in your brain, not at the site of symptoms, meaning treatment must include rethinking everyday activities and movements.
Our physical treatment will help you overcome your physical problem, but the only person who can reprogram your brain is you.
The following strategies may help you actively rethink discomfort, retrain your mind, and overcome chronic problems.
- Stay Active- There is a vast difference between hurt and harm. Movement can be uncomfortable, but it does not necessarily mean that you are harming yourself. Recognize that the amount of pain you are experiencing does not correlate with the amount of tissue damage. Slow down for acute or radiating pain, but unless directed otherwise, nudge into manageable discomfort.
- No Pain, No Gain- is not a proper mindset, and overdoing it will often set you back. The balanced sore but safe approach is usually best.
- Start Slowly- Pick one activity that you would like to perform, i.e., walking. Identify your baseline for what you can comfortably achieve, like walking five minutes on a flat surface, then nudge it each day, i.e., add one minute or increase the pace slightly. Be patient.
- Refocus- It’s natural to focus on discomfort, but next time you sense irritation, consciously refocus your attention to another healthy part of your body. i.e., if your back hurts while walking, sing a song in your head. Your brain can be distracted based on where you place your attention.
- Continually Refuel Your Brain- Choose a healthy diet with plenty of water, and strive for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.