The five most frequently asked questions about trigger points
1. What are trigger points?
In short: Trigger points are symptoms of a myofascial pain syndrome that result from local hypoxia due to various overloads in the muscle and the surrounding fasciae which become noticeable as palpable myogelosis.
To understand the phenomenon of a trigger point, let's first go over the term myofascial.It is composed of the prefix myo-, from the Greek for "pertaining to the muscle," and the word fascial, which refers to the fasciae, or connective tissue structures. Together, then, it refers to pain caused by a disruption of the muscles and surrounding fascia.
One characteristic is noticeable hardening in the skeletal muscles, which we often perceive as knots. We are sure, you´ve had spots that caused you pain when you pressed them in with your thumb. These pressure-sensitive points are called trigger points.They not only cause pain at the site of the induration, but they can radiate out, which in turn makes treatment more difficult because you often only diagnose and treat the painful spot as the source. So, for example, the source of shoulder pain can often be in the lower back, knees or even feet.In addition, a twitching reaction may become apparent in response to pressure treatment of the nodule.
2. What are the causes for trigger points?
This pain syndrome is not caused by inflammations or diseases, such as rheumatism. Triggers are rather one-sided loads, (sports) injuries, lack of exercise or even mental stress as well as an insufficient diet. Due to the tiny damages in the muscle fibers, a faulty mineral supply occurs, which triggers a local permanent contraction, resulting in the well-known hardened knot. As a result, surrounding capillaries are compressed, blood supply is impeded and the fibers are consequently no longer adequately supplied with oxygen. In the long term, this can lead to local inflammatory reactions that trigger widespread pain signals, including in other regions of the body.
As the word myofascial suggests, the problems also affect our fasciae. These are, simply put, connective tissue structures that surround muscles, bones, tendons, cartilage and organs, supporting them but also keeping us flexible. These properties are due to the rather firm protein collagen on the one hand and elastin on the other, which are part of the fasciae depending on their type. The above-mentioned microtraumas in a muscle fiber can also occur in the fascia surrounding it, and in turn lead to hardening and pain due to lack of nutrients. Almost everyone suffers from trigger points, especially in the neck, back and shoulders and in fact they are the main cause of the majority of pain in the active musculoskeletal system.
3. How to treat trigger points?
Myofascial trigger points should undoubtedly be treated, as otherwise they can lead to chronic complaints, which in the worst case can affect the psyche. It also prevents you from avoiding the pain and thus only displacing the problems through abnormal movements.
There’s a good answer and a bad answer to that. The bad: As described above, a main feature of trigger points is their radiance. This makes it much more difficult to locate the source of the pain. The good news: Once you know where the symptoms come from, there are some simple methods to solve the hardening.
The aim of all therapies is to promote blood circulation, which ensures oxygen supply, to relax shortened muscle fibres and fasciae and to remove inflammatory substancesIn manual therapy, for example by a physiotherapist, the tissue is loosened by mechanical external pressure and stretching of the affected area. Additional massage and heat can positively influence the effect.The use of various fascia tools is also possible. For this purpose, rollers, balls, "massage sticks" or, of course, our trigger things are suitable, which primarily enable and simplify the independent treatment.Other methods are shock wave therapy and the so-called "dry needling", which in Germany by law may only be performed by doctors and alternative practitioners.
4. How to prevent trigger points and tension in the long term?
In general, sufficient movement in everyday life as well as regular sports activity is essential to supply your muscles and fasciae with sufficient oxygen and necessary nutrients. For everyday office life, it is advisable to take small breaks from constant sitting and incorporate some movement.
Furthermore, you should also make sure to always maintain a correct execution during sports, which avoids one-sided overloads. Especially during intensive activities, you should pay attention to sufficient regeneration and post-processing of the stressed tissues. Triggerdinger help you to regenerate and relax the tissue. In addition, it is advisable to include stretching, fascia training and massages, whether by yourself or a partner, in your routine. Don't worry, you don't have to do all of this for hours every day. Just two to three times a week for ten to 15 minutes each is enough to increase your muscle health.
Of course, you should also pay attention to a balanced diet and avoiding stress. If the cause of chronic trigger points lies in anatomical malposition, an expert should be consulted in any case, with whom further therapy options can be discussed.
5. Why Triggerdinger?
Now back to the general point: The big advantage of Triggerdinger over other fascia tools is the selective treatment of the relatively small trigger points. While rollers and balls massage the muscles and surrounding fascia over a large area, Triggerdinger can target and deactivate hardenings due to their special shape. In particular, it reaches smaller muscles directly, such as the piriformis or shoulder muscles embedded in bony structures.
Furthermore, it helps you to apply a sufficiently long pressure on one point. In addition, during optimal execution, there is an alternation of contraction and relaxation of the treated muscle, which allows the pressure to be applied even more intensely and consequently increases the blood and oxygen supply.
Triggerdinger are also practical due to their compactness, so they fit into even the smallest handbag. In addition, they convince with slip resistance due to nubs on the underside and durability due to the high-quality material.
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