When repetitive tension, or severe increases in tension build in the muscle and the connective tissue, they can develop what is called neuromyofascial trigger points. Neuro -nerve, myo-muscle and fascia-connective tissue. Lets call them trigger points for short. These trigger points are hyper contracted fibres of muscle and connective tissue with hyper sensitised pain receptors interwoven into the tissue.
It is these trigger points that can lead to the faulty biomechanics of the joints, and the development of many pain syndromes. Over time the build up of trigger points leads to stiffness weakness and pain in the muscles and joints. This brings about faulty movement patterns in the joints and can eventually lead to degenerative changes - osteoarthritis. The longer these trigger points have been building up the more painful a condition can be.
The pain receptors in the trigger points become hyper-sensitised which means that the longer they are active the less stimulus it takes to continue to activate them- peripheral sensitisation . These pain receptors are firing pain signals into the spinal cord and brain, causing them to be hypersensitised - central sensitisation. The consequence of this is that our perception of the pain is increased. So as the trigger points become more deeply rooted, it takes less stress to stimulate them and the perception of the pain increases.
Over time the nervous system develops a memory for the trigger points and they return time and time again. If we keep doing what we have always done, we will keep getting the same results.
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DisclaimerAll topics and articles are for information only, and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions.
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