Trigger points are the weapon of choice for Organized Pain in the musculoskeletal system. Like this handgun, they can be difficult to trace. The good detective can examine the scene and trace it back to The Hitman, The Caporegime, The Inner Circle and The Godfather.
The trigger point is usually fired from one place and hits somewhere else. Trigger points create a referral pattern. This releases chemical irritants in the area of referral. That creates pain, itching, tension, tingling and other forms of irritation. Once in a while, the trigger point fires at point blank range and the pain is right on top of it.
When the trigger point fires, it creates pain, makes it difficult to move and difficult to relax. Trigger points create a center of irritation in the muscle that makes it difficult for the muscle to contract or stretch. Since the first time that we tried to lift our head or pull up on a couch to stand, our bodies have been dealing with trigger points. Our bodies know how to plan around trigger points, as long as there are not too many of them or they are not too severe.
Let’s look at an example. Here is a post about the trigger point in the peroneus longus. It is on the side of the leg, near the knee. It fires down the side of the low leg and hits in the back of the ankle. It creates sharp pain there and tension that radiates up the leg and along the side of the foot. It weakens the muscle and the ankle is hard to stabilize. When it tries to relax and stretch out, it also creates pain.
Trigger points can be fired by different hitmen. Sometimes the hitman is The Obedient Soldier of Organized Pain. Sometimes it is The Disrespected Hitman. Sometimes it’s The Rogue Hitman. I’ll talk about each of those. Remember, it’s not personal it’s business. This is just the body doing its job of protecting itself. Treat it with respect and you’ll stay out of trouble.
Tony Preston sees clients in Atlanta, GA where he also teaches Integrative Bodywork.