Myofascial Trigger Point: What They Cause + Treatments

In Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy by Stephanie PrendergastLeave a Comment

By Stephanie A. Prendergast, MPT, Cofounder, PHRC Los Angeles


Trigger points can cause local pain at the site of the trigger point and/or they can cause referred pain in a location distant from the trigger point itself. Trigger points in each muscle have common referral patterns that have been well documented in the medical literature.


Trigger points can also contribute to muscle dysfunction such as urinary frequency, urgency or difficulty evacuating stool. 


In muscles that have active trigger points the muscles will often be weaker upon strength testing. Once the trigger points have been eliminated those muscles will typically show improved strength without strength training. 



Myofascial trigger points can be successfully treated with several different modalities.


Your physical therapist can utilize manual treatment or dry needles to eliminate the trigger point. Physical therapists in most states are licensed to utilize dry needling as a treatment intervention. Unfortunately there are still some states that will not allow physical therapists to dry needle.


A physician or nurse practitioner can utilize trigger point injections to treat MTrPs. This involves injecting an anesthetic into the trigger point. Surprising to most, the anesthetic does not facilitate trigger point release. It’s the introduction of the needle into the trigger point that releases it. 


You can facilitate your rehabilitation at home! There are many tools available that can help you treat your trigger points at home. With the guidance of your physical therapist, you can facilitate your rehabilitation.



Are you unable to come see us in person in the Bay Area, Southern California or New England?  We offer virtual physical therapy appointments too!

Virtual sessions are available with PHRC pelvic floor physical therapists via our video platform, Zoom, or via phone. For more information and to schedule, please visit our digital healthcare page.

In addition to virtual consultation with our physical therapists, we also offer integrative health services with Jandra Mueller, DPT, MS. Jandra is a pelvic floor physical therapist who also has her Master’s degree in Integrative Health and Nutrition. She offers services such as hormone testing via the DUTCH test, comprehensive stool testing for gastrointestinal health concerns, and integrative health coaching and meal planning. For more information about her services and to schedule, please visit our Integrative Health website page

Melissa Patrick is a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher and is also available virtually to help, for more information please visit our therapeutic yoga page

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