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The Best Treatment for Trigger Points

Trigger Points and Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic Care, Your Nerve System, and Pain

The experience of pain causes all sorts of unpleasant physical reactions. Tight muscles are one such response, and muscular tightness may progress to localized knots, known as trigger points, and even muscle spasm. These responses are never a good thing, and usually result in more widespread and more intense pain.

The solution to most types of musculoskeletal pain involves getting at the underlying cause of the problem. Often, the underlying cause is biomechanical. Neck pain or low back pain, for example, frequently results from a lack of full mobility of spinal vertebras and the resulting irritation and inflammation of spinal muscles and spinal ligaments. Bigger problems may ensue when this irritation and inflammation begins to affect spinal nerves. Nerve inflammation may then involve other tissues and organs, with subsequent development of various symptoms and disorders.

By addressing the underlying cause of biomechanical pain, regular chiropractic care helps restore maximum function to both your spinal column and your spinal nerves. The long-term result is enhanced health and well being for you and your family.

Trigger points are painful nodules in muscular tissue, commonly found in the upper back, low back, and gluteal muscles. Trigger points are frequently chronic, persisting from day to day without much relief. When someone says, “My muscles are all in knots”, those knots are most likely trigger points.

The formal definition of a trigger point describes a localized region of tenderness, located in a tight band of muscle, which is associated with a palpable twitch in response to deep pressure over the tight band.1 Such deep pressure usually results in pain radiating from the trigger point to the surrounding soft tissues. Formally, if the twitch response is not present, the localized muscle tightness cannot accurately be termed a trigger point. It may also be argued that characterizing a local muscle “knot” as a trigger point requires the presence of the above mentioned radiating pain. These definitions are of importance when making decisions about appropriate care for painful muscle knots.

As with any care management decision-making process, some procedures make sense and others do not. Many so-called pain management physicians will recommend injecting painful trigger points with an anesthetic or even botulinum toxin.2,3 Such an invasive procedure is rarely required. Pain management practitioners and even specialists in internal medicine will recommend muscle relaxers such as Robaxin, Flexeril, or even Soma in attempts to diminish muscular pain in the shoulders or low back that may or may not be associated with the presence of trigger points. The problem with such medications is they do not address the underlying cause of the painful muscle knots. Further, their efficacy with respect to muscular pain is questionable.

The mistake, as is frequently the case, is in thinking of trigger points as a real entity. But trigger points do not exist in a vacuum. These painful muscle knots arise as a consequence of mechanical disturbances and stress in the rest of the body. Attempting to treat the trigger points themselves with injections or medications misses the real problem. Trigger points have arisen in a person’s shoulders or low back owing to chronic issues elsewhere, typically involving the spinal column itself and the small muscles that enable those vertebras to move in three-dimensional space.

Trigger points are best managed by directing care to the underlying issues, primarily involving loss of full mobility of spinal vertebras and resultant inflammation in spinal muscles. As with many other biomechanical problems, chiropractic care is often the best solution. By utilizing a specific, highly targeted, noninvasive approach, chiropractic care helps alleviate the factors that have led to the painful muscle spasms known as trigger points. As the underlying biomechanics improve, the trigger points themselves begin to resolve, all without the need for injections or medications.

1Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Dommerholt J: Myofascial trigger points: peripheral or central phenomenon? Curr Rheumatol Rep 16(1):395, 2014
2Kim SA, et al: Ischemic compression after trigger point injection affect the treatment of myofascial trigger points. Ann Rehabil Med 37(4):541-546, 2013
3Zhou JY, Wang D: An update on botulinum toxin a injections of trigger points for myofascial pain. Curr Pain Headache Rep 18(1):386, 2014

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

    ~Amy Hawker
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

    ~Patsy Dimond-Spencer
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig
     Fenton, MI

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan
     Fenton, MI

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!

    ~Nancy Matson
     Fenton, MI

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle
     Fenton, MI

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs
     Fenton, MI

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

    ~A.H.
     Fenton, MI

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