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Ischaemic Pain/Trigger Points

Ischaemic muscle pain and trigger points (painful knots in your muscles) result from a lack of blood flow to your body tissues often from being in one position for a long period of time.

Common Signs & Symptoms

  • Ache, burning or tingling pain anywhere in your back, buttocks, shoulders or legs
  • Often worse after being in one position for a long period of time (eg sitting, standing, stooping, kneeling)
  • Stiffness or tension
  • Knots in your muscles

Description

Ischaemic muscle pain and trigger points (painful knots in your muscles) result from a lack of blood flow to your body tissues often from being in one position for a long period of time. This usually happens when your spine and soft tissues are under pressure or strain, which squeezes out the blood leading to a build-up of waste products such as lactic acid.

Remember the last time you sat for too long and your bottom felt numb when you stood up? This is your body’s way of telling you to move- this improves your circulation and flushes the waste products away.

Trigger points are the knots or sore bits in your muscles which can also develop following sudden injury and feel good when they are massaged. When you press them, they can also cause pain in other areas (referred pain) for example trigger points in your back muscles can make your bum sore.

Advice & Treatment

Trigger points which can cause back pain are usually found in your low back and buttock areas. Because these knots can lead to pain which spreads into other areas (referred pain), massage to loosen them will help to reduce low back pain, even if they are not in the area where you feel your pain.

Self Massage
The best way to do this is to stand against a wall and firmly roll your buttock/back muscles on a tennis ball which is placed between you and the wall. Make sure you take the weight off your leg on the side you are massaging and relax into the massage. When you find a sore point or knot in your muscle, stay on the spot and keep pressing until the muscle softens and feels more comfortable - this will ease out your knots. Then move onto another area and repeat. There can be a huge number of trigger points for you to work on, especially if you have had pain for a long time, or you have a history of back pain.

  • Exercise to improve posture, improve your circulation and fitness
  • Keep your muscles and tissues healthy
  • Maintain a healthy weight and balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water to help your circulation flush away waste products
  • Change your posture regularly to help blood reach into all your tissues
  • Use heat and stretching to promote circulation
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