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Trigger Points and Lower Back Pain
By Simeon Niel Asher
Lower Back Pain has reached epidemic proportions. Here we look at the part played by trigger points.
It has been suggested that low back pain is an inevitable result of walking upright (Harari). As the force of gravity acts upon the skeleton and its muscular and ligamentous armature, it is distributed via the fascia into three dimensions. Myers (2013) talks of an internal cohesion- compression of the body where it is both collapsing in on itself and pushing out from itself in a constant state of equilibrium, a concept called ‘tensegrity’. Tensegrity is seen nowhere better than in the spine.
If the spine were a straight, rigid stick it wouldn’t be able to compensate for the multiple forces acting upon it. Therefore it is specifically arranged in a series of curves (cervical and lumbar lordosis and thoracic kyphosis). Along with the spinal discs, these curves are essential for shock absorption and are maintained by an interblend of muscles and ligaments that fire up in cyclical sequences.
Sadly, too many therapists remain out of the loop, when it comes to understanding trigger points. In the case of some (mostly PT's, but others included) there is still a tremendous cynicism. This is generally because these therapists have received a negatively biased education, and have somehow avoided the opportunities to learn and explore trigger point therapy first hand.
For anyone willing to take the time to piece it all together, there is plenty of freely available research to support trigger point therapy. Mainstream acceptance of trigger point therapy has grown rapidly in recent years. We're committed to playing our part to push for the introduction of trigger point therapy as a standard teaching requirement for all manual therapists.
In todays trigger point blog we take a deeper look at where trigger points come from.