What Are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are said to cause pain more often than any other condition, are drastically under-diagnosed due to lack of information. Trigger points are specific, hyper-irritable and hypersensitive areas in muscle that suffer from decreased circulation, increased contraction and spasm. Lack of circulation creates a high anomaly of toxins and increased nerve sensitivity that can range from low ache to sharp pain. Now just because the trigger point causes the pain does not mean that the spot is painful itself. When the pain causing spot is painful it is called a primary trigger point. However, pain can also manifest itself in areas away from the active trigger point - such pain is called referred pain.

A significant trigger point nodule can often be noticed as a small lump in the muscle, usually no larger than a pea. Less substantial trigger points are not so noticeable by a lump, but are easy to find anyway - just search your own muscles for the spots that feel most tender; they will transmit pain pain when you press on them. You may not be able to locate a trigger point by feel, but it will always hurt when you press on it.

It is not uncommon to find a "taut band" of muscle stemming from an advanced trigger point; this taut band will feel much like a small cable. These taut bands extend from the trigger point outward and can be mistaken for a tendon, and it is these taut bands, brought on by trigger points, that keep your muscle in a state of tension.


Shoulder Trigger Points

Taut bands that are found in shoulder muscles are directly attributable to lack of shoulder movement. The bad news is that left untreated, the trigger point will worsen and the taut band will become more taut, freezing up your shoulder joint more and more. To free up your shoulder mobility, it is hugely important to:

  • Find the location of the trigger points that are freezing up your shoulder joint.
  • Eliminate these trigger points as soon as possible, to escape the downward spiral toward worsening adhesive capsulitis.

Trigger Points and Frozen Shoulder

Within the PT area, one of the classic resources for Kinesiology (the study of movement and the way muscles cause movement to occur) reference is Brunnstrom's Clinical Kinesiology (Smith, Weiss, and Lehmkuhl 1996); much of the following information on this page will come from this book. Though much of Kinesiology is focused on movement, it is also concerned with the myriad of factors that limit the function of muscles.

As you may or may not know, many shoulder problems will occur because one or more of the 24 muscles associated with the shoulder are not functioning properly. Trigger points within the muscle tissue affect muscle function negatively, and the most important effects of trigger points are as follows:

  • Trigger Points shorten muscles and actively prevent them from lengthening
  • Trigger Points often cause muscle weakness.
  • Trigger Points often are painful -> This pain makes muscles stay tense -> This constant tension in the muscle will make the trigger point worse, thus completing a continually worsening cycle.

The reality about adhesive capsulitis is that it takes time for adhesions to develop and the shoulder already has to be locked into place for adhesions to form. In the opinion of some *doctors, the first step in treatment is to get rid of the trigger points that reside within the muscles associated with the problem shoulder. The sooner the trigger points are treated, the better chance there is to keep adhesions forming in the shoulder joint.

Travell, J., and D. Simons. 1983. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. Vol. 1. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.

Shoulder Trigger Points

Examples of Possible Causes of Trigger Point Pain in the Shoulder

Tender trigger points typically develop from lack of stretching or improper stretching but can also be caused from stress/trauma, repetitive motion or even poor posture. Other common causes are:

  • sitting without firm back support (slumped posture)
  • prolonged sitting in a chair without armrests, or armrests that are too high, or too low (leaning to one side)
  • cradling a phone between ear and shoulder
  • large breasts
  • one leg shorter than the other
  • typing on a keyboard that is too high
  • prolonged improper sleeping position
  • playing a violin
  • kayaking
  • overly tight bra straps
  • carrying a purse (prolonged hiking up of the shoulder)
  • head-forward posture
  • whiplash
  • walking with a cane that is too long
Shoulder Trigger Points

Reduced circulation in trigger points will eventually lead to muscle shortening and restricted movement which further accentuates the pain, thus completing a cycle of decreased mobility and further pain. This commonly becomes the underlying cause of adhesive capsulitis, chronic shoulder immobility and even chronic headache pain. The patient will typically continue to suffer from these ailments for long periods until the problem trigger points are treated directly.

Reduced circulation in trigger points will eventually lead to muscle shortening and restricted movement which further accentuates the pain, thus completing a cycle of decreased mobility and further pain. This commonly becomes the underlying cause of chronic knee and thigh pain, and the patient will continue to suffer from these until the problem trigger points are treated directly.

Mild Trigger Points can be addressed sometimes through massage and some sufferers maintain that acupuncture treats these problems as well, though it is not accepted by many medical institutions.



Treating Trigger Point Pain

If you have pain caused by tense and constricted muscles, you will find the T•Shellz Wrap® to be a highly effective treatment. Trigger point pain is caused by constricted muscle fibers - forming knots and eventually building toxins in the area. The trick to getting rid of this pain is loosening the knots to release the constricted muscle fibers. This will allow blood to flow through the fibers once again, bringing the vital oxygen and nutrients required for healthy tissue.

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tshellz is a circulation booster

The ultimate goal of treating trigger points is to get your muscle tissue back in the best possible condition you can. To do this, it is important to treat the scar tissue that forms in the muscle when the damaged tissue begins to heal - something the T•Shellz Wrap® is also great at! Even with optimum healing, there is always less elasticity in previously injured muscles fibers. However, if you heal your trigger point pain properly with the T•Shellz Wrap® and treat scar tissue build up, your chance of chronic trigger point pain or other chronic soft tissue conditions later on is much lower than average.

There are healing tools that can help treat your muscle trigger point pain and speed up the healing process so you can get back to an active lifestyle. Circulation Boost (Circulatory Boost) will loosen the knots at the trigger points, improve elasticiy of the soft tissue (and help minimize scar tissue growth), and promote blood flow to loosen your constricted muscles and heal the fibers faster and more completely.

trigger point back buttock
trigger point hip groin thigh
trigger point elbow arm hand

In addition, scar tissue will bind to everything - tendons, ligaments, other muscles and anything else nearby. This is why PT sessions are painful - often the therapist is trying to break the scar tissue bonds that are limiting your joint flexibility. Inflexible scar tissue limits the movement of your muscles that were once elastic - leaving your tissue weaker than a healthy muscle and at greater risk of deterioration (atrophy) and possible tearing.

Treating your pain and trigger points with a T•Shellz Wrap® device will help release the knots, soften scar tissue, relax tense muscles, relieve muscle spasm, and improve the motion and flexibility of your affected joint.

Click here to learn more about why T•Shellz Wraps® are Circulatory Boost workhorses.

Once the inflammation of your trigger points has been reduced, nourishing and strengthening the tendon tissue and surrounding area is recommended. Using Circulation Boost will speed your recovery and heal your muscle more completely preparing it for strengthening exercises. Talk to your doctor or PT to find out which exercises are appropriate for your situation.


T•Shellz Wrap® & Circulation Boost

After severe inflammation and swelling is reduced you can begin to treat your tendons and muscles with Circulation Boost (Circulatory Boost). Circulatory Boost increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your muscles to nourish your soft tissue to speed healing.

Your muscles naturally receive a limited blood supply and when you stop moving because of pain the blood flow is reduced even further, limiting your body's natural ability to heal itself.

By treating your affected soft tissue with a T•Shellz Wrap® you can increase your body's blood supply to the muscles and increase your body's natural healing power.

A T•Shellz Wrap® is intended to relax muscles and increase blood circulation in the treatment area. With T•Shellz Wrap® treatments, your muscles are safely and gently stimulated via heat and increased blood flow, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to injured tissue to promote healing.

Our Leg/Arm T•Shellz Wraps®, Knee T•Shellz Wraps®, Back/Hip T•Shellz Wraps®, Shoulder T•Shellz Wraps®, Elbow T•Shellz Wraps®, Wrist/Hand/Sesamoid T•Shellz Wraps®, Plantar T•Shellz Wraps® and Ankle/Achilles T•Shellz Wraps® provide effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects. These wraps are so versatile you can use it to treat nearly any area of the body where you are experiencing trigger point pain and/or soft tissue damage.

Knee Tshellz Wrap improves muscle tissue and relaxes knots in the muscle fibers.
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Improved blood flow from a T•Shellz Wrap® treatment whisks away dead tissue and toxins that have built up from your trigger point pain. When you stop moving your joint due to trigger point pain, your muscles and other tissue can become weaker and dead tissue and toxins in the area can cause further deterioration - this can lead to atrophy (muscle weakness and/or deterioration). By clearing the area of toxins and increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your muscle and other tissue, the risk of atrophy is greatly reduced. Keeping your muscles and other soft tissue as healthy as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to improve muscle and joint strength again once your pain has gone and your trigger point pain has healed.

With the consistent and regular treatment from a T•Shellz Wrap® Circulatory Boost device, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your range of motion. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!

If you suffer from trigger points, we guarantee this solution for you - or your money back!


Stretching

A stretching routine can undoubtedly lead to a successful outcome for many patients. However, there are time that many people in pain simply cannot tolerate stretching. When pain levels are high and your muscles are too taut, stretching may actually aggravate your injury. In cases such as this, the smart way to go is to first minimize your pain using trigger point massage and Circulatory Boost home treatments until you can reach a point where you start some moderate stretching without the pain. If you find the stretching aggravates the problem, stop stretching and just continue with the massage and Circulatory Boost treatments.

Combined with a stretching routine you will find the T•Shellz Wrap® to be highly effective when dealing with trigger points. Successful treatment of your trigger points will help increase range of motion and reduce the likelihood of a worsening problem.

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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!


 
 

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