An active myofascial trigger point is a trigger point that is painful without being touched.
A latent myofascial trigger point is a trigger point that is painful when compressed but not painful unless pressure is applied.
A satellite trigger point is a trigger point that results from another trigger point.
Upon examination of muscle that a patient is complaining of, the practitioner will usually palpate a taut band within the troublesome muscle.
When the practitioner compresses the trigger point, the patient will feel exquisite tenderness at the site of the trigger point.
When compressed, the patient classically feels pain beyond the area that is compressed. This is classically called referred pain. The typical differentiating feature of myofascial trigger points drawing a contrast with counterstrain tender points is referred pain. A strong feature of a myofascial trigger point is causing pain beyond the area that is compressed.
The most common osteopathic treatments to myofascial trigger points are muscle energy and myofascial release as well as reciprocal inhibition and ischemic compression.
A leading treatment for trigger points is the spray and stretch technique. The muscle is sprayed with a vapocoolant spray and stretched in the restricted range of motion.
Trigger points can be treated by introducing a needle without any anesthesia. This has similar rates of long term resolution to injections, but does not have the short term potency.
Myofascial trigger points are commonly treated by injection with local anesthetic, usually a cocktail of long and short acting sodium channel inhibitors.
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