Myofascial Trigger Points vs Injury

By Doretha Hattingh

Myofascial Trigger Points vs Injury

Have you ever heard of the saying : “Everything is connected to everything.”

The biggest mistake that we, as professional athletes, can make…is to NOT listen to your body. We’ve got the mentality of the ‘more I train, the better I perform’. One of the most common causes of pain and discomfort during training, is Myofascial Trigger Points, due to overloading or a lack of recovery.

Again… “Everything is connected to everything.”

One of the main factors to understand about Myofascial Trigger Points, is that where you feel the discomfort or pain is not necessarily where the injury is. The normal functioning of the knee joint depends greatly on the “balance” of muscular effort during walking, running, and other activities. Active trigger points can disturb this “balance”. These trigger points frequently refer pain directly to the knee joint and alter the normal mechanics of the knee joint. Knee pain may be due to overloading of the quadriceps muscles, Rectus Femoris or Vastus Medialis or even overloading of the hamstring muscle, Biceps Femoris. This pain must be understood as a warning that these thigh muscles have been overloaded and need time to recover.

          

Posterior Thigh pain, lower buttocks pain and pain at the back of the knee may also be the referral of Myofascial Trigger points present in the hamstring muscles, Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus and Bicep Femoris. Even Myofascial Trigger points in Gluteus Minimus, a stabilizer of the pelvis during activities, may have pain referral to the posterior thigh, back of the knee regions and the calf. The abnormal tension in these muscle groups, mentioned above, will either predispose athletes to hamstring strain, tears or to knee pain disorders. The muscle weakness, created by the trigger points, might cause the other thigh muscles to become overloaded and develop trigger points.

 

How you can prevent an injury:

Understand that “Everything is connected to everything”.

Know the capability of your body.

Individualise your training program.

Learn how to listen to your body

 

To understand more about Myofascial Trigger Points read the following article.

Etiology of Myofascial Trigger Points

Carel Bron1, 2 and Jan D. Dommerholt3,4,5

Abstract

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is described as the sensory, motor, and autonomic symptoms caused by myofascial trigger points (TrPs). Knowing the potential causes of TrPs is important to prevent their development and recurrence, but also to inactivate and eliminate existing TrPs. There is general agreement that muscle overuse or direct trauma to the muscle can lead to the development of TrPs. Muscle overload is hypothesized to be the result of sustained or repetitive low-level muscle contractions, eccentric muscle contractions, and maximal or submaximal concentric muscle contractions. TrPs may develop during occupational, recreational, or sports activities when muscle use exceeds muscle capacity and normal recovery is disturbed.

Conclusions

In spite of a lack of well-designed studies, the best available evidence supports that TrPs develop after muscle overuse. Several potential mechanisms may play a role, such as eccentric overload, submaximal sustained, and (sub)-maximal concentric contractions. A key factor is the local ischemia, which leads to a lowered pH and a subsequent release of several inflammatory mediators in muscle tissue. Hocking proposed an interesting counterargument, which deserves further exploration. Whether overuse mechanisms are the crucial initiating factor or persistent nociceptive input remains a point of debate and further study.