How to Stop Trigger Points from Developing in the First Place

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Limiting trigger point development will help you move more freely due to greater flexibility and range of motion. Previously, we outlined 8 Steps to Unlocking Restricted Movements, but how do we prevent myofascial trigger points from developing in the first place? There are several perpetuating factors, some that we can influence and others are ones that we can’t. 

Woman Having Trigger Point Leg Pain

For the ones that we have minimal affect on we can still be aware of how they influence the development of trigger points and know how to relieve them quickly with movement, stretching or myofascial release before they become too sore or debilitating.

8 Contributing Factors in Trigger Point Development

  1. Cold: the cold creates more stiffness and shortening of the muscles and fascia.
  2. Repetitive movements: moving constantly in the same patterns create fatigue. Trigger points develop due to fatigue
  3. Prolonged postures: some muscles are in a lengthened position for too long, while others are in a shortened position for too long.
  4. Trauma: muscles go into a protective spasm when they are overload. This happens when we try to lift or pull something that is too heavy.
  5. Poor movement patterns: these contribute to early muscle fatigue and improper muscle recruitment for each movement.
  6. Bony structure: how our bodies are structured. In adults this generally does not change.
  7. Poor nutrition: muscles require certain micro-nutrients and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and B12, B6 to function properly.
  8. Poor hydration: muscles and fascia are 70% water. Less hydrated we the stiffer we become. Water important for fascia mobility and part of muscle metabolism. 2% dehydration results in 10% reduction human performance.

In Trigger Point Therapy  Workbook Second Edition: Your Self-Treament Guide for Pain Relief , Clair and Amber Davies clearly explain how trigger points develop in each muscle in a manner that is for the general public to understand. A prime example is one reason for plantar fasciitis development is when women wear high-heels the soleous, the deeper calf muscle is shortened for a prolonged period of time.

The fascia of the calf is part of the back line which connects through the Achilles tendon in the plantaris muscle and fascia. Once the high heel shoe is removed, the calf is not able to lengthen as it needs to. The constant tension creates soreness and inflammation. The solution is to wear flatter shoes, use moist heat to warm the muscle, complete trigger point release on the calf and sole of the foot, then stretch on daily basis until the lower leg is back at resting length and no longer sore.

Which one of the eigth perpetuating factors do you think we can change? How would you change it to limit its contribution to limiting your ability to move freely? If you have trigger points, try the comprehensive set of myofascial release tools RAD has created.

Alfred Ball

CEO | Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. He founded Lifemoves in 2007. He has been a Practicing Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA for over 15 years. When he isn't helping people regain their strength and confidence to move with ease he is hanging out with his wife and young son, writing, or training for his next endurance running race. His big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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