Trigger Points are areas in specific locations within a muscle where excessive build up of lactic acid not only produces local muscle tension and tenderness, but also refer pain into remote areas. For example, a trigger point in the chest pectoral muscles causes chest pain as well as radiating pain into the shoulder and down the inside aspect of the arm on the same side, mimicking a type of pain experienced with angina. Build up of lactic acid within muscles are commonly associated with muscle overload and stress. Although, treatment of trigger points are necessary for relief and normalization of muscles involved, the underlying contributing factors need to be found and addressed for lasting results.
Trigger points are treated by various techniques. Most common approach is by digital pressure to the site of the trigger points that feel very tender and may even reproduce the referral pain pattern induced by that particular trigger point. Therapeutic ultrasound and spray and stretch are other techniques that may be utilized in managing trigger points. The objective is to disperse the build up of lactic acid, restore adequate blood flow to remove the lactic acid, and to stretch the involved muscle to its normal length.