Trigger Point Pain Causes | Treatment for Myofascial Pain | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Trigger Point Pain Causes and Treatments

Trigger Point Pain in Calf

Nearly everyone has experienced pain from muscle tension, but if that pain persists or worsens, you may be dealing with myofascial pain syndrome. Also known as trigger point pain, this condition is a chronic pain disorder that typically occurs in muscles that have been contracted repetitively. This could be due to repetitive motions from a job or hobby; it could also be caused by stress-related muscle tension.

There are a variety of treatments for trigger point pain, ranging from physical therapy to dry needling to injections into the affected muscle.

Symptoms of Trigger Point Pain

Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome can include

  • A deep or aching pain in a muscle
  • Persistent or worsening pain
  • Tender lump or knot in a muscle

For many of our Chicagoland and Central Illinois patients, these symptoms can be similar to a variety of other injuries. You should consider seeking treatment and/or medical attention if the pain makes it difficult to sleep or these symptoms continue after time and the use of manual therapy techniques.

Causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Muscle Injury

Trigger point pain from muscle injury can come from acute or chronic muscle stress. For some, the myofascial pain syndrome can result from a spot within or near an already strained muscle. For others, it’s a continued repetitive motion that damages the muscle so frequently that it doesn’t have time to heal properly. 

Stress and Anxiety

It might surprise you to learn that stress or anxiety could lead to trigger point pain. If you have ever felt stress cause physical tension in your muscles, though, it should start to make sense. Frequent stress could lead to a repeated strain on the muscle, not unlike a conscious repetitive motion. 

Trigger Point Pain Treatments

Treatment typically includes some combination of medication, trigger point injections, and physical therapy. 

  • Physical therapy involves a personalized plan to help relieve your discomfort based on the location of the pain as well as other signs and symptoms. Stretching, posture training, heat, massage, ultrasound, and needle procedures can all be used on trigger point pain.
  • Medications can range from pain relievers (over-the-counter or prescription strength) to antidepressants to sedatives.
  • Trigger point injections send a numbing agent or steroid into the trigger point to help relieve the pain. 

Get Started Toward Trigger Point Pain Relief

While there are multiple treatment options for myofascial pain syndrome, medications and injections can often feel invasive or excessive to patients. Physical therapy offers a variety of potential solutions before seeking medical options to manage the pain.

Request a virtual visit to learn more about how IMPACT Physical Therapy can help, or contact one of our clinics in Chicagoland and Central Illinois.