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Active Trigger Points


Updated December 18, 2007

Definition: Tight little knots found in muscles that cause stiffness, limit motion and make you complain of pain to your doctor. Active trigger points will weaken the muscle(s) in which they are located, and will prevent them from fully stretching, as well. If you touch active trigger points, they will feel tender. If you put pressure on them, you will feel pain referred to another area of your body in a definite, repeatable pattern, that is the same every time you press that particular point. Other characteristics of active trigger points include a twitch in response to stimulation and possibly tenderness, movement and/or other sensations in the same pattern as the referred pain.


Simons, D., MD, Travell, J. MD, Simons, L., PT. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. Vol. 1 Upper Half of the Body. 2nd Edition. Williams & Wilkins A Waverly Company 1999. Baltimore. Rachlin, E. Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia: Trigger Point Management. Mosby-Year Book. 1994. St. Louis.

Also Known As: trigger points, tender points, tp
Active trigger points cause pain and will refer pain to other areas of the body.
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