Trigger Points Vs. Tender Points: What is the Difference?

The trigger points are generally confused with tender points by the patients and also sometimes by the medical professionals as well.

In the case of tender points, the pain is experienced by the patient on pressing at the particular painful region, and this pain is basically localized.

Whereas in the case of trigger points, the pain experienced is the same as trigger points but the main difference is that it radiates to the nearby body parts immediately when pressed on a particularly painful area.

Thus, in the case of fibromyalgia, the typical trigger points are seen and not the tender points. And this should be observed correctly to rule out the problem in a proper way.

Trigger Points Vs. Tender Points

How does Trigger Point Therapy help?

A trigger point is basically a tight area that is present within the muscle tissue.

Trigger points generally cause muscular pain. Hence a clear understanding of trigger points along with the areas that are covered by them is essential before getting any treatment.

In case if you can literally put a finger on the painful spot of your neck, shoulder, or back area; it is most probably one of the trigger points in the neck.

According to health professionals and experts trigger points for neck pain are located in the trapezius muscle. Trapezius muscles are the large triangular muscles that extend from the skull base over to the middle of the back of your neck and shoulders. This helps in moving the head and shoulder blade.

Studies showed that relieving trigger point pain in the body parts like neck, shoulders, upper or lower back, etc. can help in enhancing your lifestyle by eliminating neck and back problems forever.

Doctors suggest few trigger points exercises which can be tried out on regular basis for getting the best relief.

1- Massaging:

Muscle contraction stops the blood flow to the particular affected area. The controlled and comforting massaging actions relieve the contraction and lets free flow of blood. This flow fulfills the immediate oxygen requirement for the muscle and hence reduces the pain.

Thus, massaging the trigger point is said to be the best trigger point therapy which can help in loosening the trigger points and in eliminating the pain.

The trigger point that is causing the trouble has to be identified first.

The therapist uses multiple actions by pressing the spot, kneading the muscles over the entire area, and applying varying pressures at different areas. And an experienced therapist could identify the spot immediately when you tell the exact place of the painful area.

2- Exercises:

Many health professionals suggest physical therapy and regular aerobic exercises which help in lowering the trigger point pain.

You can try a few general exercises such as swimming, arm movement, etc. which involves the workout of the muscles in your neck and shoulder.

Experts also recommend using a heating pad or an ice pack which helps in alleviating the pain of trigger points in the neck and shoulder.

3- Medications:

Soothing the trigger point pain with the help of Anti-inflammatories and trigger point injection is also a common recommendation for those where other therapies do not work.

However, it should be noted that just having a pain killer (which is sure to have side effects) would only relieve you from the pain, but not from the exact ailment causing elements.

On the other hand, trigger point therapy like exercises and self-massage helps you in tracing out the roots of the pain and provides relief that could be instantaneous and long term.

Preventing trigger points is one of the best things for you that can help in the long term. You should get aware of the best working postures, ergonomics, and body mechanics which will help you in living healthy, stress-free, and pain-free life forever.