A Trigger Point is an exquisitely tender area in a muscle or other soft tissue that is associated with a hypersensitive taut band and usually contains a thickened, palpable nodule, even when the muscle is at rest and should be soft and pliable.
Trigger Points can cause a variety of pains – even well away from their own location. They are not only painful; there is also a tendency for strains, tears or other injuries to occur at these points. The pain of Trigger Points can be extreme. Physcians have even compared the pain of Trigger Points to the pain of kidney stones, angina pectoris or shingles.
Over two thirds of visits to primary care physicians are due to complaints of pain by the patient. According to Dr. Simons, approximately 90% of these pain complaints are due to trigger points.
Trigger Points are typically associated with various forms of myofascial dysfunction, including chronic pain, weakness, limited range of motion and autonomic phenomena. Individuals with trigger points in numerous areas and who are experiencing various perpetuating factors may also be suffering from Widespread Myofascial Pain Syndrome or Fibromyalgia.