The Role of Trigger Points in Neck Pain

Trigger Points in Neck Pain

Have you ever been told by someone you are a “pain in the neck”? If so, then you must be annoying and causing inconvenience to that person. Just as the idiom implies, a real bodily pain in the neck can get troublesome if left untreated.

What causes neck pain?

Bad posture is the leading cause of neck pain. An improper sleeping position can also cause neck pain. Sometimes the pain goes away on its own, but occasionally it becomes chronic. Other less common causes are car accidents involving whiplash, an injury in the area, and herniated discs.

From carrying heavy shoulder bags to using uncomfortable pillows, anything that causes stress and tension to the neck muscles can cause neck pain. If these muscles are repeatedly strained and overworked, they can form trigger points.

What are trigger points?

Trigger points are sensitive spots in the muscle tissues. They are commonly referred to as “knots,” which, when pressed, triggers pain on other parts of the body. This pain felt by other body parts aside from the actual source is called referred pain.

How to treat trigger points for neck pain?

One of the trigger points to focus on for neck pain is the scalene muscle group. They are located deep within the side of the neck’s triangular region, also referred to as the Anatomical Bermuda Triangle. There are many ways to “unknot” this area. You can try at-home trigger point exercises, dry needling, trigger point injections, or trigger point massage therapy.

At-home trigger point exercises

Sometimes a quick self-massage does the trick. You can use tools such as foam rollers or a tennis ball. To use a foam roller, place it on the ground vertically, lie on it, and roll sideways until you feel it roll over your scapular muscles. To use a ball, place it between a wall and your tender shoulder muscles, then roll the ball up and down against the wall by bending your legs.

Dry needling

Dry needles are thin needles without any medication inside them. These empty needles are injected at the spot where the trigger point is and then moved around to encourage blood flow. This reduces muscle contraction and helps relieve neck pain.

Trigger point injections

Your doctor may advise you undergo an injection therapy. This is similar to dry needling, except that the needles contain medication. No steroids are injected, usually just a saline solution with procaine.

Trigger point massage therapy

If you want a less invasive method to treat your neck pain, you can try trigger point massage therapy. This technique targets trigger points that may be causing the neck pain and is typically performed by chiropractors. You’ll experience relief and improved mobility after the first session but may need a series of sessions to fully alleviate the discomfort.

Don’t let your neck pain get any worse and interfere with your daily activities. If you are experiencing neck pain, seek the expertise of a reputable chiropractor and book for a trigger point massage therapy in Garden City, MI.