By Stephanie A. Prendergast, MPT, Cofounder, PHRC Los Angeles
Let’s talk Myofascial Trigger Point (MTrPs) Facts:
MTrPs are contracted fibers with a muscle.
MTrPs are painful when compressed.
Active MTrPs cause pain and/or dysfunction whereas latent MTrPs do not currently cause pain and/or dysfunction but have the potential to.
MTrPs can cause pain locally (at the spot of the MTrP), or can cause referred pain to another part of the body. Each MTrPs has a particular referral pattern indicating where they most commonly cause referred pain.
Myofascial Trigger Points develop for multiple reasons. Here’s a few of them:
Trauma to the muscle, whether it’s from a surgery or an injury can lead to MTrPs.
Overusing a muscle, such as using a mouse all day, every day, or poor posture with a forward head, can cause MTrPs to form.
Lastly, poor body mechanics with activities or incorrect form during exercise can lead to incorrect and overuse of muscles leading to MTrPs.
There’s some Myofascial Trigger Points Do’s and Don’ts you should be aware of:
To effectively treat myofascial trigger points take a multipronged approach!
Be sure to see your physical therapist for manual therapy.
You can treat yourself! 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.
Through your rehab with your physical therapist you can improve your body mechanics to prevent the trigger points from coming back after they have been successfully treated.
Stretching and strengthening exercises in muscles that have active trigger points can make the trigger points worse!
Active trigger points are trigger points that are actively causing pain and/or dysfunction.
Once those trigger points are successfully treated it is safe to resume stretching and strengthening those muscles.
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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