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“Trigger Points” Explained

When a muscle knot or “trigger point” forms in the body, blood flow to that area is severely decreased, sometimes ceasing altogether. When the blood flow is diminished, oxygen and nutrients necessary for the muscle to work properly is also decreased, causing a buildup of lactic acid. Trigger points with an excess of lactic acid are sore and painful when pressure is applied. If trigger points continue to be ignored, consistent pain and aches will form in the body as more lactic acid and metabolic wastes (due to the lack of blood flow) is held inside the tissue. The pain is compounded when a tight muscle places pressure on a nerve or series of nerves causing numbness, tingling and other symptoms. Since nerves carry sensations throughout the body like a pulse, it is possible to feel these numbing sensations in areas of the body separate from the location of the trigger point. Trigger points initially develop from continued muscle tightness most commonly due to stress, overuse/repetitive motion, and accidents/injuries and a lack of stretching or relief from the cause.