A trigger point is a small patch of tightly contracted muscle or an isolated spasm affecting just a small patch of muscle tissue that actually cuts off its own blood supply creating pain, discomfort or weakness. They also appear to be a result of the muscle being overworked or not strong enough to balance the pull of the opposing muscle, if that makes sense. So, if your pecs are tight because you sit at work all day, the muscles that pull your shoulders back become fatigued and often develop these trigger points. Over my short career, I've treated numerous patients who describe pain down the arm, into the neck and around to the front of the shoulder. Often, this is diagnosed as cervical radiculopathy (meaning, pain coming from a disc issue in the neck) although upon evaluation in physical therapy, there may not be any evidence of neurological involvement. The patient has full neck range of motion. Check out the chart below, it will help you understand why. The same goes for sciatic pain which has some major trigger points at the hip that refer pain down the leg. We have a lot of success with this at the Sandestin Physical Therapy Services through the use of soft tissue work that includes massage to the specific areas referring the pain. The results can be quite dramatic if it is the source of the pain. If you're unsure that your pain is joint or nerve related, ask your physical therapist if it could be a trigger point!
Come see us if you're in the area! www.sehwc.com
4/3/2014 07:52:33 am
ON point!!! :)
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Dr. Mark Giovanini
Scott Rusin is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Sandestin Executive Health & Wellness Center in Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL. He has a degree in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Nike Golf NG360 Performance Specialist Powered by the Gray Institute.