Trigger Point Therapy Can Relieve Many Causes Of Lower Back Pain

trigger point therapy for lower back pain

Trigger Point Therapy For Low Back Pain

Previously, lower back pain was considered a standalone ailment. Ater a number of research trials, physicians now understand that low back discomfort can be caused by a number of different disorders. It can be misleading when the same term is used to describe a multitude of ailments, but things are beginning to change in the medical community. Being aware of how pain in the lower back can manifest is very important in allowing physicians to accurately make a diagnosis and effectively treating the issue.

There have been some very promising discoveries related to low back pain during the clinical research done throughout the last decade. The discovery of trigger points and their debilitating effect on muscles throughout the body was especially enlightening. Now that more facts have been collected regarding trigger points, knotted areas found intense muscle fibers, a specialized trigger point therapy has been designed to relieve discomfort among other symptoms. Through trigger point therapy, many types of low back discomfort can be treated. The following are commonly recognized categories of low back pain that trigger point therapy is able to treat:

Pain in the Lumbar Paraspinal region

While many of those suffering from back soreness believe their discomfort is attributed to an underlying issue in the lumbar paraspinal region, it’s often something totally different causing their problems. Commonly diagnosed in those with back discomfort is muscle tension. Muscle tension can be caused by stress or physical injury. When trigger points are present, pain signals may be referred to neighboring muscle groups either further up toward the thoracic area or downward into the buttocks. Referred pain from trigger points nestled in the pelvic muscles is usually the culprit responsible for soreness in this lumbar region.

Pain In And Around The Sacro-Iliac Joint

Sacroiliac joint pain is another category of common back pain. While this joint is actually found in the pelvis, pain can be felt in the lower back as a direct result of sacroiliac issues. Discomfort can also be blamed on trigger points which also contribute to general dysfunction of the actual sacroiliac joint. This joint is fairly remarkable because no muscle groups are specifically responsible for moving the joint, however, tension from muscles nearby can have a negative impact on joint function. Sacroiliac joints can become dislodged or have their normal use interrupted because nearby muscle groups are interfering with normal activity. Trigger points in back muscles, the buttocks, and the pelvis can create issues in this joint, like soreness and discomfort. Treatment using advanced trigger point therapy generally clears away issues enabling the joint to return to normal without discomfort. Other serious issues may require joint manipulation techniques to be incorporated into trigger point therapy sessions to achieve full relief.

Pain Across The Beltline

Another area where patients experience back pain is the beltline area. Discomfort may present on one or both sides. Soreness here is mainly a direct result of referred pain from points located in neighboring muscle tissues. The discomfort that’s isolated to one side can usually be attributed to active trigger points in the hip or pelvis and muscles around the buttocks on the same side of the body. Pain on both sides could also be contributed to by trigger points referring pain signals from the abdominal area.

Pain In The Gluteal Or Buttock Region

Pain in the Gluteal or Buttock region most often is diagnosed as a secondary complaint to discomfort around the belt-line or sciatica. After a physical exam, your trigger point specialist will be able to determine where the pain is coming from. Soreness here will most often be attributed to points in the nearby muscles in the buttocks. Other muscle groups that contribute to discomfort are the group of gluteus muscles and the large muscles in the thigh. Trigger points in any of these areas can refer pain to the buttocks and cause further discomfort.

Pain Down The Back Or Side Of The Leg

There can be numerous sources for pain traveling from the lower back down one or both of the legs. A leading cause of soreness that runs down the legs is a disc problem, like a herniated disc. This condition essentially pinches nerves or their roots against the disc causing loss of sensation, tingling feelings, pain that shoots down the legs, and motor problems in the affected leg. Pain from disc issues is generally persistent and severe.

How Does Trigger Point Therapy Work?

Trigger point therapy is a very successful method for treating varying degrees pain throughout the patient’s body. Trigger point therapy for low back pain is minimally invasive and highly effective. A trained physician or therapist will be able to locate trigger points in affected muscles through physical manipulation. Once the trigger points are found, they can be gently massaged with specifically applied pressure so to release tension in the surrounding muscle fibers and ultimately release the trigger point. It may take several sessions for the patient to achieve full relief from trigger point therapy, though some may see results after the first session. Full participation in the aftercare program of trigger point therapy is essential for success.

There are several different reasons for what might seem to be normal low back soreness. As outlined above, back discomfort can be a very complicated condition involving many muscle groups all interacting in a negative way with trigger points, neighboring muscles, and joints. It’s paramount for physicians to recognize that back discomfort can be caused by any number of smaller issues in the patient’s muscles. Because of this, there can be no one treatment that works to relieve all types of back discomfort. The originating issue must be resolved for a patient to completely return to normal.

Clinical research performed for more than ten years has shown that trigger point therapy is a highly effective method of treating many types of lower back muscle disorders and relieving major discomfort. New information gathered from data collected during the research is allowing doctors to know more about trigger points and how to administer trigger point therapy. Many patients have found full relief from what would have otherwise been a debilitating ailment with no real cure. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your physician without delay. The sooner you receive trigger point therapy for your muscle issues, the better your changes of fully recovering from your painful condition.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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