It is more than a “complication” of an injury, it is a common consequence of physical trauma, sometimes serious and long-lasting. Trigger points are formed when muscle fibers get stuck in a contracted state, leading to a decrease in blood flow and oxygen to the area. This can cause pain, muscle weakness, and a decrease in range of motion. If left untreated, trigger points can last forever.
Trigger points can be activated by acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma. When pressure is applied directly to the point, the patient may experience pain or muscle weakness. Trigger points can also cause tension headaches, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, and lower back pain. Various modalities are used to inactivate trigger points, such as the spray and stretch technique, ultrasound, manipulative therapy, and injection.
Trigger point injections can reduce localized muscle pain by relaxing the affected muscles and interrupting the nerve signaling pathways that cause referred pain. It is important to distinguish between a trigger point and a tender point. A tender point is associated with pain only at the site of palpation, while a trigger point produces a contraction response to pressure and creates a pattern of referred pain. Trigger points don't go away on their own.
If they rest or receive treatment, they may regress slightly to a state where the pain stops returning, unless a therapist puts pressure on them. However, if left untreated, trigger points can last forever. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible after symptoms occur in order to prevent the development of trigger points.