A trigger point is an area of muscle, or knots of muscle, that form when muscles do not relax. These knots can usually be felt under the skin but are oftentimes discrete. These trigger points may irritate the nerves around them, especially when touched or compressed, possibly causing pain that is felt in another part of the body.
Trigger points are mainly located on the backside of the body along the spine and pelvis or the shoulder girdle. They can arise from nerve, muscle, or ligament irritation. Trigger points can also arise because of traumatic tissue injury, spinal abnormalities, whiplash, degenerative disorders, or a viral syndrome. They tend to be persistent and aggravating rather than disabling. Treatment methods have included heat or cold, stretching and strengthening, physical therapy, massage, even acupuncture.