How Trigger Points Affect The Musculoskeletal System
Table of Contents
The body is a functional machine that consists of muscles, organs, and skeletal joints that play different parts in making the body healthy as possible. Each section has a casual relationship as they work together and do their jobs separately. The muscles provide protection and movement from daily activities. The organs supply hormones, oxygen, and nutrients, so the body’s internal functions work correctly. And finally, the skeletal joints help with mobility and stabilization for the body to stay upright. When environmental factors or traumatic injuries affect the body, many issues over time may cause damage, and the body may develop pain-related symptoms. Today’s article examines how the musculoskeletal system works in the body, how trigger points affect the musculoskeletal system, and how chiropractic care can help alleviate trigger point pain. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal treatments to aid individuals suffering from muscle pain associated with trigger points. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
How Does The Musculoskeletal System Works?
Have you been experiencing muscle stiffness in specific areas located in your body? Do you feel tenderness in your neck, shoulders, or back? Or do you feel knots along your muscles that are causing you pain? Some of these symptoms are associated with muscle pain in the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system in the body has muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues surrounding the skeletal joints. Studies reveal that the structure of the musculoskeletal system shows how the surrounding muscles protect the joints and help provide the body functionality. The various muscles in the body offer a range of motion, sensory-motor functions, reflexes, and strength when functioning normally. However, when environmental factors begin to affect the body over time, it can lead to musculoskeletal disorders associated with pain. Studies reveal that when the body succumbs to pain related to musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders are a common issue that has affected many individuals worldwide and causes various disabilities and symptoms that affect the body. Some of the musculoskeletal disorder symptoms that affect the body include:
- Burning sensations
- Muscle twitches
- Stiffness and aching
- Myofascial trigger pain
How Do Trigger Points Affect The Body?
One of the musculoskeletal symptoms associated with muscle pain is trigger points or myofascial pain. Myofascial pain is a common condition involving the muscles and surrounding connective tissues that may be acute or chronic depending on where the pain is located. While trigger points refer to hard palpable nodules in the taut bands of the skeletal muscle that can be active (causes spontaneous pain or abnormal sensory symptoms) or latent (causes no spontaneous pain but shows operational myofascial trigger points characteristics). Studies reveal that myofascial pain can be associated with muscle dysfunction, weakness, and limited range of motion that affects the body. A knot in the muscle in certain body areas can make the muscle hyperirritable, causing painful compression while invoking characteristic referred pain and autonomic phenomena in the body. To that point, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose since trigger points are caused by traumatic events in the body and can occur in different spots in different people. Trigger points can form all over the body, including:
- Low back
One common characteristic when trigger points affect the body is that they can travel or even spread to the surrounding muscles.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome & Trigger Points- Video
Have you been feeling pain located in your neck, back, or particular areas in your body? What about feeling pain in a different location of your body? Or have you experienced muscle stiffness or tenderness in certain areas of your body? If you have been experiencing these symptoms associated with muscle pain, you could be dealing with trigger point pain or myofascial pain in your musculoskeletal system. The video above explains myofascial pain and trigger points and how they affect the body. Studies reveal that myofascial pain is caused by myofascial trigger points that produce exquisitely tender spots in the taut bands of hardened muscles. To that point, it stimulates local and referred pain amongst other sensory, motor, and autonomic symptoms. Myofascial trigger points can cause stiffness and weakness in the involved muscle, making it difficult to diagnose since it can cause pain in different body areas. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate trigger point pain associated with myofascial pain syndrome from the body.
How Chiropractic Care Alleviates Trigger Point Pain
Since myofascial trigger point pain can be challenging to diagnose, it can range from neck to low back pain in different locations and mimic other pain conditions that affect the body. It can affect the body to become hypersensitive and hyperirritable while decreasing a person’s overall sense of well-being. Luckily, treatments like chiropractic care can help alleviate trigger point pain and help manage myofascial pain syndrome. Chiropractic care is not just for the skeletal system but can help relieve muscle pain associated with myofascial pain. Since the muscles are layered and interwoven around the joints, they play an integral part in supporting the body. Studies reveal that chiropractors are great at finding trigger points and utilize specific exercises and physical modalities to treat myofascial pain syndrome symptoms. Some of the benefits chiropractic care use include:
- Breaking up scar tissue
- Applying pressure on the trigger point
- Aligning the spine to reduce the spinal subluxation
- Ease muscle pain
The body consists of muscles, organs, and joints in a casual relationship that helps function and stabilizes the host. The musculoskeletal system has muscles, tissues, and ligaments that are interwoven and layered, surrounding the skeletal joints to prevent injuries or traumatic events from affecting the body. When the body does suffer from damages caused by traumatic events, it can lead to a musculoskeletal disorder known as myofascial pain or trigger pain. Trigger pain is when the muscles have knots along taut bands of the muscle that can cause muscle stiffness and pain. Trigger point pain can be challenging to diagnose since the pain can travel from one location to another section of the body. This is referred pain, and myofascial trigger pain can mimic other chronic musculoskeletal symptoms. Treatments like chiropractic care can help alleviate myofascial trigger pain through spinal manipulation and trigger point therapy, thus relieving the stiff muscle causing pain. Incorporating treatments like chiropractic care can help loosen stiff muscles, increase joint range of motion and bring a person’s wellness back.
Bron, Carel, and Jan D Dommerholt. “Etiology of Myofascial Trigger Points.” Current Pain and Headache Reports, Current Science Inc., Oct. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3440564/.
Morgan, William. “Chiropractic Treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome.” Spine, Spine-Health, 24 Sept. 2014, www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/chiropractic-treatment-myofascial-pain-syndrome.
Murphy, Andrew C, et al. “Structure, Function, and Control of the Human Musculoskeletal Network.” PLoS Biology, Public Library of Science, 18 Jan. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5773011/.
Shah, Jay P, et al. “Myofascial Trigger Points Then and Now: A Historical and Scientific Perspective.” PM & R : the Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4508225/.
Vilella, Renato C, and Anil Kumar Reddy Reddivari. “Musculoskeletal Examination.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 8 Sept. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551505.
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