The underlying cause for the tension are what is known as trigger points; hyper-irritable spots in the skeletal muscle that are associated with taut bands of muscle fibers, it’s those spots where if you touch them it may elicit local tenderness, or referral pain (pain else where) or muscle spasm.
The following factors are what to look for and are causes which maintain and enhance trigger point activity:
1. Nutritional deficiency, especially vitamin C, B-complex and iron;
2. Hormonal imbalances (low thyroid, menopausal or premenstrual situations, for example);
3. Infections (bacteria, viruses or yeast);
4. Allergies (wheat and dairy in particular);
5. Low oxygenation of tissues (aggravated by tension, stress, inactivity, poor respiration).
Successful treatment relies on identifying trigger points, resolving them and, if all trigger points have been deactivated, elongating the structures affected along their natural range of motion and length.
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References: Dr. Janet Travell, Travell and Simmons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction