A trigger point is a painful knot located in the muscles that can cause numbness, tingling, and shooting pain (especially when pressed). This type of muscle pain is fairly common and can be a mystery as referred pain is often a symptom. Referred pain is sometimes far from a trigger point but is caused as a direct result of that specific spot of muscle tension. Self massage, dry needling, or professional massage and other manual manipulation can be used to relieve the painful spots of tissue.
A healthcare provider can scan the body to locate trigger point locations. It’s not unusual for larger muscle groups to contain several trigger points. When he or she runs his or her hands along the symptomatic spots of the body, he or she might find nodules or notice a twitch response to the touch. Some massage therapists have found that trigger points tend to be hotter to the touch than other areas of the skin. Treatment includes static massage, holding pressure in specific places of the body for total release of the contracted muscles.
Trigger point therapy can be painful because the knotted muscles have developed over a long period of overuse, repetitive use, or mistreatment of the muscle groups. Although painful it is thought to relieve chronic pain, headache, and back pain.