Chiropractic Association of South Africa (CASA)

Trigger Warning: Understanding Myofascial Trigger Points

Pain & Inflammation

Trigger Warning: Understanding Myofascial Trigger Points

If your muscles are often stiff and sore, or you can pinpoint your pain to one or two spots on a muscle, then you may have myofascial trigger points. Better known as knots, these tight spots in your muscles are often sensitive to the touch and could be causing your pain and discomfort.

If you’ve attempted to treat these symptomatically with self-medication (or any means possible for relief) in the past, the good news is that a healthier, headache-free way of life is within your grasp.

Chiropractic treatment for Myofascial trigger points

Why do trigger points develop in muscles?

While trigger points may develop as a result of trauma such as a car accident, they can be caused by repetitive motion (e.g. painting your house), or even simply sitting at your desk without proper ergonomics.

Trigger points can, however, also be caused by:

  • Vitamin deficiencies (e.g. iron and folic acid)
  • Emotional stressors
  • Poor posture on the couch
  • Injury directly to the muscle (e.g. due to a fall or exercise)
  • Underlying musculoskeletal disorders such as fibromyalgia


As a result, trigger points can be a challenge to identify because they can occur in different muscles, but your chiropractor will take all of the above factors into consideration.

Symptoms of myofascial trigger points

Myofascial trigger points are generally hard, painful spots in tight bands of muscles, but they can also sometimes refer pain to other regions. As they develop, they can also produce symptoms like numbness, tingling, weakness and burning.

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Reduced range of movement in a joint
  • Muscle imbalances and weaknesses


Be sure to discuss these symptoms with your chiropractor to ensure you are receiving the best treatment for your pain.

How to treat myofascial trigger points

Your CASA-registered chiropractor is trained to track down and treat trigger points using a variety of techniques, including:

  • Stretches
  • Dry needling
  • Soft tissue work
  • Spinal adjustments
  • Heat/cold therapy
  • OTC medication


Chiropractic treatment is generally done in a conservative manner and is focused on helping your whole body become aligned, which can ease muscle pain. In more extreme cases, however, your CASA-registered chiropractor may need to refer you for other treatment options, such as injections or prescription oral medication, but they will guide you accordingly.

To learn more about your pain from trigger points and your treatment options, find a CASA-registered chiropractor in your area here.


This blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Tags :
muscle knots, myofascial trigger points, sore muscles, stiff muscles
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