Although it might seem like those knots in your neck or back just appeared out of nowhere, most likely there's a specific cause for these issues.
Called trigger points, these problem spots occur in the connective tissue that's part of your musculature, and they can wreak havoc on athletic performance or even everyday activity.
Knowing the top causes can help to prevent them, or to keep minor trigger points from becoming a chronic irritation. Here are some common ways that these points get triggered:
Repetitive movement: Whether you always hit a golf ball the same way or you sit at your desk typing all day, the repetition of movement can cause tightness, leading to trigger points.
Poor posture: We all slump occasionally, but if you have less-than-ideal posture, it's often the same as repetitive movement. It creates constant pressure on certain parts of your body, particularly your shoulders, neck, and back.
Sleep problems: Many people wake up with a stiff neck or simply feel misaligned, and they claim to have "slept wrong." When this happens frequently, it can lead to trigger point development. Sometimes, it's a chicken-and-egg problem to determine which came first: poor sleep as a result of pain from trigger points, or trigger points as a result of tossing and turning all night.
Injury: When muscles become damaged or tense up without warning — as is the case in an accident — it causes stress to resonate through the body. That trauma and the ensuing tightness can lead to trigger points, either immediately or over time. For instance, getting in a car crash and having whiplash can create stress to the neck that might prompt trigger points to develop.
Referred pain: In some cases, a trigger point in one part of the body actually causes pain in another area. For example, if the muscle on the top of your shoulder has a trigger point, it can refer pain up the side of the neck, and create tightness that causes a headache.
When it comes to treatment, there's been ample success with combining physical therapy and movement assessment with dry needling. Not only can this address the trigger points you may have, but it can aid in preventing them so that you're on track when it comes to optimal health and performance.
The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.
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