So we’re going to talk, uh, about some relevant trigger points. There’s a lot of relevant trigger points, but we tried to narrow it down to ones that are probably the most frequently seen in practice, especially ones that are good to with, for practitioners who maybe don’t use a lot of trigger points or wanting to get into working with trigger points.
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Welcome everybody. I’m here with Josh Lerner and I’ll introduce him in just a moment, but I just wanted to give a little heads up. Matt Callison and myself. Uh, co-present uh, frequently on this webinar that the American Acupuncture Council is kind enough to welcome us to. And I, Matt couldn’t make this particular, uh, uh, date and we’re here with Josh Lerner, but the reason I’m mentioning that is the subject matter we’re talking about actually has roots in some conversations we’ve had with Josh over the past couple of years, uh, specifically looking at the difference between motor points and trigger points, difference, comparison, uh, overlap, you know, uh, just a, it’s a, it’s a really great topic and that was going to be our webinar. But, um, the dates didn’t work for Matt. And, uh, we’re going to have this as part one where we’re talking a little bit more specifically about trigger points and then looking at part two on July 7th, Josh will be back with us and we’ll kind of get a little bit more into that difference between difference and again, comparison between trigger points and motor points. So thanks for joining us today, Josh.
Thank you, Brian. I appreciate being invited to do this. It’s always a plan involved with doing that.
Yeah, yeah. It’s great to have you here. So Josh, uh, Josh is up in the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest has been practicing for 20 years. Um, and teaching at the Seattle Institute of east Asian medicine for 11 years. Uh, is that correct?
Yep, that’s it. Yeah.
And you focus on a lot of things, but uh, particularly in specifically relevant to this, uh, webinar with, uh, orthopedics TuiNa and corrective exercises.
Yeah. That’s a main part of my practice. So I incorporate a lot of the sports medicine, acupuncture protocols, as well as stuff, uh, dealing with trigger points, uh, corrective exercise, you know, movement assessment and lots of manual therapy with, uh, including things like 29.
Yeah. And Josh is also a graduate of the sports medicine acupuncture program. And like myself has a pretty long history in martial art practice, which I think is what gets a lot of us into this work initially, which is interesting. Yeah. Yeah. So there’s definitely, we would like to chat for a bit, but there’s a lot of material to present, so maybe we will go ahead and jump right into the, uh, the presentation and Josh, let me know if there’s anything you want to add before we, uh, go into that. Ready to go. We’re good. All right. So we’re going to talk, uh, about some relevant trigger points. There’s a lot of relevant trigger points, but we tried to narrow it down to ones that are probably the most frequently seen in practice, especially ones that are good to with, for practitioners who maybe don’t use a lot of trigger points or wanting to get into working with trigger points.
Um, this will be a, a chance to kind of go into those specifically though for a short webinar. We’re not going to really get into a lot of needle technique, which takes a little bit more set up. We’re going to try to put it into the context, more of, um, assessment recognizing and when, when to look for these and when to, um, utilize them and maybe even some disappointed channel theory with it. So let’s go to the next slide and we’ll jump right into that. So I’m strictly speaking, uh, myofascial trigger points, uh, or just oftentimes referred to as trigger points are a concept that’s developed in Western neuromuscular medicine. Uh, so there’s a history of it. Um, we’ll probably mostly be talking about the, the work of Dr. Janet Reval and David Simons or David Simmons. Uh, but there’s a history that goes way back, many people involved with it. I guess you could say a history that kind of parallels some, some discussions that happened in Chinese medicine, but it’s a, it’s a Western history. However, if you look closely and you, and you’re versed in both traditions, you will definitely see a lot of overlap. So we’re going to discuss the overlap, but just keep in mind that that overlap is
Trigger point in the, you know, if you get travails books, she’s not going to be talking about the large intestine channel. Um, but there’s a lot overlap if you look for it. And just a as one quick example, looking at this picture on the right, we have two pictures actually on the left-hand side of that image, there is a supraspinatus trigger point referral patterns. Superspinatus access in the region of SSI 12 though, it’s attachment at ally 15, my tendonous junction around ally 16. And then you see the referral going down the large intestine, a little bit, the lung channel, but primarily the large intestine channel. So this muscle superspinatus as part of the small intestines sinew channel. However, there’s a link with the large intestine channel. So on the right, many of us are familiar with this Deadman image and you’re looking at that large intestine channel, um, where you see some of that trigger point referral pattern.
But it’s interesting to note that from ally 15 and to ally 16, where you would have access to the superspinatus, the channel then links, uh, intersects at SSI 12. So even the description of the large intestine channel starts showing some relationships to this, uh, um, superspinatus muscle and how there’s a relationship between both the referral pattern and the channel itself. We could talk the whole webinar about relationships between this, this type of thing between the channels and the trigger point referrals. But unfortunately, that’s not the topic though. Fortunately, we had some really great things to say, uh, uh, in addition to that, but Josh, anything you wanted to, uh, add or any thoughts that you have on, on this? I know we talk about this a lot.
Yeah. I’m not a whole lot, but just as a general idea, it’s something that people can really do is if you’re interested in this kind of thing, look at referral patterns and Trevell or other resources, but look not only at the main pathways of channels, but also delve into a lot of the law channels. Um, some of the other less commonly really known, uh, although everyone knows the law channels, but, um, the ones, your, a lot of the connections you’re not normally going to think of very often, you’ll see more connection with the trigger point referral patterns there than if you’re just looking at the main channel pathways. So in some ways you can kind of use this as an opportunity to go back and delve into traditional channel theory and kind of get into some details and start uncovering some connections you might not otherwise have thought about.
Yeah, and to me, it seems kind of obvious that the channel system in Chinese medicine has a pretty long history, a long tradition, many things that added to the development of the channels. But I think a simple one is that people were probably needling areas and node and noting and, uh, seeing the common referral and saying, oh, there’s something about needling at that SSI 12 region that kind of refers, um, down a particular pathway. And that was, you know, that, that, I’m sure I had a big part of the development of the channel system. And in addition to other things
I absolutely, yeah. Alright.
I think we can jump into the next slide. So just to give a definition, a myofascial trigger points are a hyper irritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hyper-sensitive palpable nodule and a top band. We’re going to break this down and talk a little bit more about it in a second. Uh, the spot is painful on compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, referred tenderness, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena. This is the definition in a travail and Simmons book, the trigger-point manual, which is a great resource, a two volume, uh, resource. And you can see some of that play out in the image on the left, which is showing the sternal head of the, uh, um, SCM muscle sternocleidomastoid and the referral to the sort of frontal region occipital region Vertex of the head a little bit into the face when you’re looking at these referral patterns.
Something to take in, uh, into consideration is the darker, the red doesn’t necessarily indicate more pain when there’s referral. It’s more about frequency. You know, that that there’s going to be, uh, the greater frequency of that sort of frontal region for the sternal head occipital region. And these spillover regions are going to be a little less common, but still, still common. Uh, but the intensity of that pain might be, uh, for patient a might be greatest at the Vertex of the head. I would say it tends to be greater at those, those, um, more common sites, but, but that’s what it’s showing is more frequency of referral, uh, with the spillover being less frequent. And Josh, do you want us to actually break down a little bit of this definition? I think,
Uh, well just because one of the things that I teach at, uh, the Seattle Institute of east Asian medicine is a specific class on trigger point theory. And I find that emphasizing really understanding each of the individual words in that, um, in that definition can be really helpful. So, uh, I like the way that I define it, I kind of, you know, the words are shifted around a little bit, but it’s essentially the same definition, but it is first it’s, we’re talking about ones in skeletal muscle. They’re also their trigger point phenomenon that can occur in other tissues, aside from skeletal muscle, a muscle like in periosteum and joint capsules, things like that. But for the majority of what we’re going to be talking about is occurring in skeletal muscle. Um, it is, they occur in a taut band in the skeletal muscle. So whenever you’re looking at trigger points, you’re always going to be trying to palpate for a particular palpable taught band.
Then you will look along in that top band for the, the nodule. Usually it’s some type of thickening or a slightly harder section of that top band, and then you apply some type of manual pressure to it. And you’re looking to see if you can find the most hypersensitive spot in that nodule in that top band. And just understanding that definition itself can help you clinically when you’re trying to start learning this material. And you’re actually going to start looking for trigger points. If you keep all of that in mind, um, it will help with how you’re palpating, um, especially as acupuncturists, we tend not to palpate as deeply for, and as strongly for kind of big gross structures like taut bands and muscles. We tend to be much better palpating for more subtle things like pulses, um, chief lo in channels, whether or not, you know, kind of the spaces between things, the way that a lot of people find acupuncture points instead of big, you know, really obvious structures, uh, which it sounds kind of counterintuitive that that would be harder for acupuncturists to do. But, um, you know, Brian, you have this experience as well. And, uh, Matt and I have talked about this, how acupuncturists it’s, when they’re learning this material, whether it’s looking at motor points or trigger points, there’s always an adjustment period. We have to kind of shift gears perceptually to actually be able to palpate correctly for taught math and muscles compared to focusing on real kind of more subtle things like fascial planes and acupuncture points, things like that. And
You have to know the anatomy quite well, which is something that some acupunctures know really well. But, um, often we hear how that is something that could be a little bit under Todd in school. And I think as a profession, we really need to bring that level of anatomical understanding of
All right. Well, why don’t we move on to the next slide then? So, uh, just so you have some understanding of some classification of trigger points is they do have classifications, um, a trigger point can be an active versus a latent trigger point. The image here is showing the upper trapezius and the referral pattern active generally would be a little bit larger, probably more contractile tissue, but that’s not the main gist of the definition. It’s really about that. The patient is actively coming in with that complaint. You know, maybe they’re talking about in this case, a cervicogenic type or tension type headaches that are traveling up the neck and, oh, it really hurts, you know, at the temple. So they’re actively feeling that that referral pattern, whereas latent trigger points as any of us have probably noticed we’re in they’re palpating and tissue sometimes. And oh, I didn’t realize I was insensitive.
You know, somebody says that they feel maybe some referral, uh, so it’s late and it’s kind of hidden, you know, maybe it’s a little extra, uh, challenge on a tissue, you know, carrying groceries a little too far, you know, suitcase in the airport or something. Um, and that latent trigger point can start to become an active trigger point. But at this point, Leighton would be that you’re not feeling it until you manually put pressure on it and kind of, kind of, um, highlight it through that pressure. So active trigger points would be, you know, people coming in with that complaint late in you’re kind of finding in the process, a key trigger points, satellite trigger points, I think is a really important thing because, uh, the difference is, is key trigger points. In this case, using the image of the, um, the, the upper trapezius.
You can look at that referral and see that, that cervical region traveling along the gallbladder channel, if we were looking at it from a TCM lens into the temp temporality. So the temporal region, well, you can form satellite trigger points along that pain pattern. It’s like that irritating noxious signal, um, will start to cause satellite trigger points along that referral pattern. So upper traps are, are often a key trigger point that can refer into the head and into the temporal region causing secondary satellite trigger points into the temple region. And it might be that the person coming in is complaining about that pain at the temple. And we go, and maybe a point like Thai Yong or the, um, uh, trigger points, or maybe even the motor point of temporality we use, and that will help. But until we sort of get it at that source, it’s going to be much more likely to come back and be short-lived help, uh, unless we can kind of find those key, uh, trigger points.
So that’s very similar to the channel theory, you know, um, in terms of, uh, us looking at that sort of more of a comprehensive view of, of the, uh, the channel in this case, um, and the muscle within that channel. And then the last classification is central trigger points versus attachment. The previous image of the superspinatus, uh, showed the central trigger points around the SSI 12 region and frequently there’ll be attachment trigger points added this attachment, like an ally 15, let’s say. Um, and generally speaking, the central trigger points have a little bit more, uh, emphasis and trigger point thought, uh, in the sense that if you take care of the trigger at the central region belly of the muscle, then oftentimes the attachment months resolve, or at least, uh, um, it’s more likely to resolve. And maybe, maybe those are the secondary ones that you look at, anything with that Josh,
Uh, yeah, just a little bit about active versus latent because clinically this is one of the areas where people often can run into problems when they really start getting into act, uh, treating trigger points. Um, like, like Brian said, it’s the act of trigger points that actually bring them into the clinic, right? They’re coming in with, um, say pain in the front of their shoulder from like an infraspinatus or a superspinatus trigger point, or maybe trading down the arm and you palpitate. And then you may palpate up around the upper trapezius and find trigger points in the upper trapezius. And even if you palpate them, it may refer up into their head. Um, and you may get distracted because you found this latent trigger point that may have nothing to do directly with the patient’s symptom. Um, but you can actually find latent, trigger points all over your body.
Um, they’re much more numerous than active trigger points. Uh, you, I don’t want to alarm anyone who’s watching this right now, but as you’re sitting there or standing, or hopefully not driving, watching this podcast, uh, your body is riddled with Leighton trigger points. They’re all over there throughout your entire body, but they normally don’t cause problems, but they’re often very easy to find. And so it can be, um, a little bit of a stumbling block because once you get good at palpating trigger points and finding them, you can kind of find them in almost any muscle, not any muscle, but large number of muscles, if you look hard enough. And so that’s where we’ll talk a little bit later about differential diagnosis and how important clinical reasoning is in addition to just palpatory skills. Um, because I, and I’m sure Brian’s done this and anyone else who’s worked with trigger points.
You can spend a lot of, uh, needless energy and time treating muscles that may actually not be helping with their problems. So that’s just one other thing. And also some of the treatments can be, uh, can involve some discomfort for the patient depending on the type of treatment that you’re doing. And so sometimes you’re needlessly causing the patient some soreness afterwards, if you’re doing something like dry needling or mashing on a trigger point manually for a long period of time, when maybe you didn’t need you because the real problem was elsewhere. So that’s just another act, uh, another aspect to active versus latent. That’s helpful to understand clinically.
Yeah, that’s a great point, Josh. I’m glad you brought that up. I see similar things with needling to where, uh, there’s a response, a sensation achieve response. And, um, sometimes that’s not the target tissue that you’ve reached, but instantly, you know, people who are new to this type of work, it’s like, okay, oh, they felt it. I’m going to stop. Now, if it’s painful, you don’t need to keep on barreling through it. But the point is that sometimes that initial sensation you get might be not at the level and the depth that your target is. And it’s not that that shouldn’t be taken note of, but maybe, you know, you’re, you’re wanting to be a little bit different target tissue. That’s going to have a different sensation. And I see that whether it’s trigger points, motor points, tendon periosteum, whatever the target is, is that the target is one thing. Um, and the sensation that you get might be felt at a different region, um, that isn’t your target yet,
Which further strengthens the importance of really understanding the anatomy in three dimensions. If you actually know what it is that you’re, you’re effecting.
Yeah, absolutely. All right. So I think we can get into the next slide and then Josh and myself, we’re kind of bouncing back and forth, but he was going to take it in just a moment from here. So, one thing to consider with that with trigger points is that they’re often, like if you look at travails book, she talks about functional units, um, and this would be a grouping, usually agonist and antagonist muscles. It’s a little broader than just this, but that’s the basic simple definition, um, that they often also share us a spinal reflex. Again, that’s the simple definition, but if you look at our functional units, they often go a little bit beyond just that, but it’s groupings of structures that relate to each other that are functionally working together and often become dysfunctional together. So if there’s a, a pain generator and say the upper trapezius, well maybe also the superspinatus deltoids, maybe even the SCM, those are all kind of, um, uh, dysfunctional together.
And those can, uh, you know, be sort of creating a, uh, problem, uh, in, in terms of how they relate to each other. So needling the, the source of the pain is useful, but also working, um, kind of normalizing the relationship between that functional unit can really give much longer AskPat lasting results. This is something we teach in sports medicine, acupuncture, not necessarily from the trigger point lens, so to speak, but, um, you know, Matt Callison and in his book, um, uh, has, uh, has something called the Watteau arc and something that’s taught in module one. We have module one coming up, um, soon. And, uh, uh, the end of the month, uh, that’ll be on net of knowledge, a webinar for it, and then it’ll be live or accessible after that. But it kind of parallels this idea of a functional unit where you’re working with these groupings of related muscles, but then the Watteau arch, we’re also adding the lotto Jaci points to affect the deep paraspinal muscles for that level.
That’s, innervating those muscles really relevant in a lot of sports injuries, also extremely relevant for patients with spondylosis, where there may be having a reduced neural output to those regions of muscles, like the supraspinatus and infraspinatus, um, that that reduced output and the neural output might not be leading to, um, radicular pain. It might be, you know, preclinical, um, you know, before that radicular level, but that reduced neural output can cause dysfunction in muscles that those muscles then have muscle imbalances that can lead to dysfunction. So including those Watteau Jaci points of that segment can be really useful. We usually do a sets of three. So like say for the rotator cuff muscle, maybe we’re doing C4, C5 and C6 at the lotto judgy points. So that’s a great addition to working with these because you’re also working then with the do channel to some extent, and looking at that relationship between that and the channels, we also get a lot into send you channels in our program. And, um, uh, the way we look at sinew channels and define the sinew channels kind of relates to this functional unit idea too.
Yeah, and I saw, uh, candy justice just asked a question about perpendicular versus, uh, threading needling. I, um, I, I really want to answer that question. It’s a great question. I think given how long we’ve already been talking over just the first few slides, I don’t know if we’re going to get to it. I’ll just say really briefly that the, there are a few answers to that question. One of them is just practical. Some muscles are easier to needle perpendicular versus more, um, threading either with the muscle fibers or sometimes cross fiber. Sometimes it’s a safety issue. If you’re needling some of the muscles over the thorax, for instance, um, you’re going to often be needling more, uh, in a kind of a threading or like a transverse, um, just to avoid going into the pleural space. It’s going to have to do also partly with, uh, in some cases, whether or not you’re going to actually needle with retention versus doing more like a dry needling. So try this, not a very full and, uh, probably satisfying answer, but, um, for the, uh, so we can kind of get on with the rest of the lecture. And I dunno, think we’ll really have time during the lecture to answer any more questions, keep asking them maybe in the, in the conversation after this is posted and like on the Facebook page, whenever we can get to them. But I just wanted to recognize that question and address the aspect of it.
Right. So the next slide.
Okay. All right. So, um, understanding the pathophysiology of trigger points, meaning both the physiology and pathology of them can also be really helpful when you’re thinking clinically. So first just understanding what a trigger point actually is. And for the next few slides, when we talk about physiology, I’m going to try really, really hard to be brief, but this is such a really, really cool and interesting topic that Brian and I, as we were talking, we could probably spend an entire hour long, an hour and a half a lecture just on these first few slides. So I’m going to try and edit myself as much as I can here. So what is a trigger point? A trigger point is essentially a series of small, very localized contractions within a muscle fiber. It is not what is called an electrogenic contraction of the whole muscle. So if you remember back to your anatomy and physiology classes, which all of you took either as part of before acupuncture school, and you remember muscle physiology, normally what happens with a muscle contraction is there’s a signal from the central nervous system sent down along a motor nerve, it’s an electrochemical signal.
And then it reaches the end of the motor nerve to the little, the terminal button. The, uh, the nerve ending then releases a neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the case of neuromuscular junctions, which diffuses across the cleft, comes into contact with the surface of the muscle fiber. Depolarizes the surface of the muscle fiber. And then it causes all the actin and myosin to kind of ratchet past each other and you get a contraction. And that normally happens when you have a nerve signal sent down that happens to an entire motor unit within a muscle. Um, and then the end, it happens to all the motor units in a muscle. What happens with trigger points is because of damage to the muscle. Some of those motor end plates, meaning the areas where the motor nerve is touching and contacting the muscle. Uh, there is a type of dysfunction that has to do with, uh, based on the most recent research I’m aware of, um, an excess spontaneous leakage in a sense of acetylcholine across the claps.
So basically neurotransmitter is spontaneously diffusing towards the muscle fiber to a greater degree than normal. It is actually a normal process. It just starts to happen more commonly in damaged motor end plates. And this causes a small amount of localized depolarization in the muscle fibers. And so you end up getting small little pockets of, of contractile units of the sarcomeres within the muscle that are contracting. So this is happening independent of an actual signal from the central nervous system. So once these little pockets of contraction form, they essentially are kept, they keep occurring because of some feedback loops essentially within the muscle itself, independent of continued input from the motor aspect of the nervous system. Um, and if you look at another interesting thing clinically, that can be helpful to realize with trigger points is if you look at the picture on the right. So we have here a drawing that was actually taken from an actual slide that comes from Trevell.
Um, the top shows a whole muscle with the talk band in it, and then the kind of thick and nodule the middle of the belly, which is the trigger point region. And then if you zoom in and look at the lower portion, you can see each of these muscle fibers kind of running across the picture there, they all have these little vertical lines, which are the individual sarcomeres, right? In, in between each vertical line, there is the contractile unit and the thickened kind of darker areas are where the trigger point contraction is occurring. And you can see that those vertical lines closer together, right? So the, as the sarcomeres contract, they go this way. But also that means that as anything else, if you squeeze it in one direction, it’s going to get thicker in the other direction. And so that thickening of all those sarcomeres with those contractions is what causes the thickened, not in the muscle, but if you look on either side of those knots, right, you’ve got like this, not in the middle, but then you can see the rest of the fiber on either side that the distance between the lines is a lot greater.
So those sarcomeres, uh, that are not part of the little contracture are actually being stretched and usually being overstretched, meaning that the actin and myosin fibers are actually often stretched past each other, which means that not only do you have a knot in this muscle, that is so that part of the muscle is partly pre contracted, which means it’s going to lose strength and a bunch of other motor dysfunctions that’ll happen with the presence of trigger points, but it’s also going to lose strength because some of those fibers are overstretched to the point where they can no longer mechanically produce the same amount of force when they contract. So it’s not just referred pain, that’s going to be the issue with trigger points, but also a disruption of the muscle’s ability to fire normally, and to relax normally, and their whole sorts of other, um, re uh, neurological reflexes that are involved in this. So we can get into some other time, but that’s, uh, something that can be really helpful to realize clinically that it’s not just referred pain out. There is this kind of actual physical dysfunction in the muscle that has other implications. Um, so let’s anything to add to that, Brian?
No, I think that was great. Cool.
So let’s move to the next slide. So when you have this contraction in the muscle, one of the things that happens is there’s this interference with the local blood flow. So as with any type of excess tension in soft tissue like that, it’s going to put pressure on blood vessels and on the lymph system. And so you end up within the actual, not the trigger point itself, a decrease in blood flow, meaning, uh, not just decrease in the nutrients in blood, getting to it, but also a decrease in oxygen. So you end up with local scheming and hypoxia. Interestingly, there’s actually a, essentially a retrograde blood flow outside the trigger point. So as the blood’s trying to get in the knot is keeping blood from getting into that portion of the muscle. So you have the buildup and actually a higher oxygen saturation outside the trigger point with a lower oxygen saturation inside the trigger point.
When you have a lower oxygen concentration, this leads to a drop in the pH in that area of the body. So the area inside the trigger point then becomes much more acidic. And that stimulates the release of a lot of other chemicals that are often pro-inflammatory or allergenic, meaning pain producing. So it releases all sorts of prostoglandin serotonin substance P brainy, canine, um, uh, CGRP bunch of, uh, interleukins, some ones in particular. And so all you get this kind of soup of biochemical signals that are producing some localized inflammation and also stimulating nociceptive nerve fibers. So remember nociceptive nerve fibers, which are often called pain fibers, actually, they’re not, they don’t send pain signals. They send signals of actual or impending tissue damage, right? The pain is something that’s processed and occurs in the, in the brain central nervous system. But what happens with trigger points then is you have this biochemical soup of concentrated, essentially pain producing substances in the area.
When the signal through the nociceptive nerve fibers becomes prolonged enough and strong enough, you know, over a long enough period of time, those signals go up to the spinal cord. And there are actual changes that occur in the spinal cord that are called central sensitization. So that there’s essentially a decrease in the threshold necessary for a lot of those signals, no susceptive or, you know, pain and signals to get to the brain. So there’s an increased chance that any given, uh, no susceptive signal is going to make it up to the brain. Normally our nervous system in a sense is designed to weed out anything below a certain threshold, just so that we’re not flooded with too much information than we can deal with in our central nervous system. Um, but with trigger points and any other kind of chronic pain, the threshold for that information to get up starts to get lowered.
Plus the nervous system in the, in the spinal cord itself starts to wake up old and disused connections between different spinal levels, essentially spinal segmental levels, and actually can form new ones. So it’s a signal say going into the C5 dermatomal myotomal level at the spine, say there’s a trigger point, like an infraspinatus, um, what will happen if that happens over a long enough period of time and is intense enough, is that the signal essentially spills over into adjacent spinal segments, very commonly or more commonly inferior. So the there’s some, maybe some connections that spill over superiorly to like C4, but very commonly will go down. So maybe C6 and C7, those spinal levels are now going to be getting input, no susceptive input or damage or pain input. And what happens for reasons that people aren’t quite sure of is that by the time all those signals get up to the brain, the brain is really interpreting those spillover signals more than the signal coming from the area itself.
It’s really common when you have a trigger point in a muscle with a few exceptions that the area where trigger point is itself, you don’t have any symptoms there it’s pretty far away from the area where the trigger point is, um, especially with some of the muscles like in the hips and the shoulders out into the periphery. So the, the signal of pain that you’re experiencing is actually coming maybe from like the C6 or even the C7 level. And that’s what we call referred pain. So that’s why you can have a, not these trigger points in a muscle, but have the experience of discomfort or pain or numbness or parasthesia happening in what seems like a really distal, uh, area far away. Cool. Anything else for that, Brian?
No, that was great. Great explanation.
Cool. Okay. And so let’s move on to the next slide. All right. So a few other things to think about with trigger points that will also really help you as a practitioner, um, from getting to myopic. Um, so trigger points are a possibility and our component of pain and dysfunction, that’s, uh, an understatement. Um, really some of the research suggests that up to 80% of the cases of pain might involve some type of trigger point phenomenon with any kind of pain. So having said that once you get into trigger point stuff, it can be so effective and it can be so kind of interesting that you can forget to do a differential diagnosis for a lot of the other really important, uh, generators of pain and dysfunction. It might be, you also have to consider joint dysfunctions, other soft tissue, you know, looking at ligaments, you have to look at whether or not someone has other systemic problems that can be contributing to their problem, right?
Nutritional deficiencies, especially things like vitamin D I think iron deficiencies, metabolic disorders. Um, so hypoglycemia and diabetes can be two really big ones that can have caused someone to have a propensity, to, to, um, generate trigger points and also to have more kind of higher levels of pain. Um, basically anything that affects the energy supply to the muscles can be a condition that can lead someone to more easily develop trigger points. If you’re a TCM practitioner, it’s also really important to put these findings into your assessment. And so personally, what I found is when I’m dealing with trigger points and thinking in TCM terms, um, going back to the idea that there is this limitation of blood flow in the area, treating trigger points locally, in one sense, as a form of blood is can be very helpful. And I’m a huge fan of the [inaudible] family of formulas.
I tend to use [inaudible] [inaudible] few herbalists out there a lot or variations of those. Um, but also systemically looking at things like spleen sheet efficiency, especially in terms of how it affects muscle function can be really helpful. So even if you decide to get into this, you’re into this now, and you’re getting really myopic about trigger point stuff, always keep in mind all of the systemic stuff, and don’t give up your as an acupuncturist or as an herbalist and the TCM practitioner. Um, uh, although you probably go through phases where that happens to a greater or lesser degree, I know I did for awhile, but always keep the rest of that in mind. Uh, anything else there, Brian?
Nah, this is just something that Josh and myself have talked about a lot, is that when people just, like you said, start working with something like trigger points, it’s easy to sort of start to, to just see everything as a trigger point and, and kind of throw everything else out the window. Um, and sometimes we learn something new and that’s just the way it goes for a little while, but, but yeah, bringing that full comprehensive, uh, aspect of our medicine back into play is really essential. So, uh, yeah, so let’s kind of go into the next step. So I think we’ve covered a lot of information already in terms of, uh, pain and quality of pain with, uh, trigger points. I think this, uh, next couple of slides, we’ve pretty much covered in the context of the previous slides. So, um, if you’re going back and watching this it’s on the screen, you can reference it, but I think we’ve already really covered an aspect of this. So why don’t we move on even Ms. Josh, is there something you wanted to say about that? Let’s move
On, not on this one, the one after, see what’s the slide right after this one? Uh, yeah, just the fact, just the importance of, um, basically when you’re diagnosing trigger points that you’re looking for them, the aspects you have to take into consideration first or the history of the patient, because often they’re good. There’s going to be some type of traumatic injury or overuse problem or chronic postural disorder. So his, the patient’s history is one thing. Um, the importance of palpation is another thing that you have to actually get into the muscle palpate and look for those sore spots, um, uh, history of palpation and, uh, and assessing, um, you know, movement dysfunction kind of looking at actually doing some, either manual muscle testing, range of motion testing, things like that. Um, but that’s, yeah, we can actually, if you want to kind of just move into the individual muscles, that’s probably a good idea. This is, as we predicted, we’re kind of taking a long time to get from the really cool stuff that we have to be nerds about.
Know we were talking, we can almost do have done a long time just on this, these first parts, but yeah, let’s, let’s move forward. So diagnosis, um, uh, uh, trigger points as Josh was mentioning was really largely based on palpation. Of course, you have to rule out other components of pain and they’re not one or the other, but maybe there’s a facet causing a particular pain. And, um, you have to roll out all of those things. We’re going to focus more on the trigger point aspect, which is going to come down to palpation. And Josh, you wanna kind of go into a little bit of the, the criteria for that.
Uh, yeah. So the, the, the three most important things to understand with trigger points are these things here listed on manual palpation. So first, if you suspect a muscle has trigger points in it that they’re causing problems. And again, actually one of the other things we forgot to mention with diagnosis, the other third thing that I was trying to think of history palpation, but also understanding the referral patterns and a lots of resources online for looking at referral patterns. It’s best. If you look in Trevell or even the most recent version of it, um, by body part. So often you can find lists of if there’s pain in the front of the shoulder, there’s a list of muscles that are the most common muscles that refer to that area. Um, so understanding that, so that, that helps kind of narrow your, your clinical focus down a little bit, but then basically what you’re gonna do is palpate the muscle.
And look for first, the top band, look, you’re looking for these, those stringy or Roby bands in the muscle. And then once you find that, then you’re pressing directly into those top bands moving along the top band, really the entire length of the muscle, the trigger points will often tend to form in certain areas in certain muscles for a number of reasons, more commonly than others, but really you need to check the entire length of the muscle if you can. And then along that tender along that top band, one of those spots is going to be one or two are going to usually be the most exquisitely tender to the touch. Um, often there would be a slight thickening or hardening of the band in that particular location. And if you’re lucky, not lucky, I mean, probably about 60 to 70% of the time, at least, um, if you’re in the right spot, the spot that you press is not only going to be very sore to the touch, but it’s also going to refer pain elsewhere and ideally reproduce the symptom that the patient is coming in for.
So, because someone’s coming in for migraines, you feel the upper trapezius, you squeeze it. Not only is it sore in the upper trapezius, but it actually recreates their symptoms with things like migraines. You have to be careful not to cause it in the clinic cause that’s a whole other topic. But for, um, a lot of patients that recognition of, oh, this practitioner is, uh, knows exactly what’s going on with me, cause they can touch me this other place. And all of a sudden my symptom is occurring. I now trust this practitioner. Um, and maybe they’ve been to two doctors and an osteopath and a chiropractor and two other acupuncturists and massage therapists. And no one has thought to look at that. And you’re the, maybe the first one who’s doing that. So that’s a really common experience, both that I’ve had and I’m sure Brian’s had, and even all the students at the school that I teach, they get that in school of having a patient in the student clinic, tell them you’re the first person that I feel like has actually gotten to where my problem is. So,
Um, yeah, after this, we have a video also this, the video shows a local Twitch response with palpation. Some muscles don’t have a tendency to do this. Some do, and it’s not an essential quality of, um, diagnosing trigger points. But when you do find with palpation this local Twitch response, that it, it’s usually a good sign that you’re at the right spot, especially if they’re feeling that recreation of the symptoms. And I kind of helps you a zoom in on the region where that trigger point formation is. So let’s just look at a quick video that shows for the SCM, you’ll see this. And then for the peroneus longest [inaudible]. So you’ll see this both with the sternal head and the clavicular and especially the Clifford Cuellar head
So if you look down at the clavicle area with the curricular edge, you’ll see that clavicular head starting to fire just with the cross fiber strumming of the muscle [inaudible] Peroneus longus and apprentice, as long as you don’t see the muscles as much, but look at the foot going into aversion. So when that muscle is under a lot of, uh, uh, strain from metric or point formation just trumping the, the muscle will cause that muscle to fire. So just some things to look for when you’re, when you’re doing assessment. I think we can go to the next slide and, uh, sports medicine,
Muscles, maybe. Yeah, yeah.
I think that’s a good idea. Thanks Josh. Uh, so upper trapezius is one of the most common, uh, acupuncture is very familiar with this one because, uh, uh, oftentimes around the, the region of, uh, gallbladder 21, there’ll be trigger points. Uh, there can be other areas they call bladder 21 happens to be a motor point. We’ll talk about that difference in July, but, uh, this is a extremely common one that comes into practice, especially relevant for tension, muscle, tension, headaches, referring up the back of the neck and then wrapping around usually the gallbladder channel distribution to the temple occasionally to the chin, as you can see kind of the angle of the mandible. Um, most of us, uh, have needled a, this, uh, muscle just cause noodling gallbladder 21. Um, but again, with Josh was mentioning, mentioning with the trigger point palpation, you’re looking not just at one particular region, you have to look through the whole length of the muscle, but that gallbladder 21 or a little bit more medial where the upper trapezius starts to turn the corner are common sites where you start to see those pain generation, um, for trigger points of the upper traps.
And from a channel perspective, a gallbladder channel would be obvious it’s part of the gallbladder sinew channel, but it’s also part of the large intestines and you channel as it comes up the arm into the, uh, the deltoids up into that leading edge of the, of the upper traps. Um, so large intestines and Joel, to some extent, urinary bladder, if you look at the urinary bladder, send you a channel, you’ll see that it, um, has a lateral branch and it covers a whole wide range even coming into the front of the body. But in my interpretation, I see that as including the lower trapezius, upper trapezius, really the whole trapezius muscle, um, and then wrapping around to the SCM muscle. So, uh, the distal points that you can consider with this are along those channels. And one that I find is extremely helpful when people have pain and restriction rotating to the opposite side, as that upper trapezius starts to fire and becomes painful, it can limit motion, gallbladder 39 is my go-to for it, but not actually strict gallbladder 39. I actually do more of an anterior gallbladder 39, particularly at the peroneus Tertius muscle, which would be anterior to the fibula. That’s the one that I find really changes the upper trapezius. And of course I do needle the Udall locally with that too, but that peroneus Tertius motor point, which is kind of an anterior gallbladder 39, uh, is, is really a key one for me.
Yeah. Uh, another, um, distal treatment that I find works really well for this. Uh, if you do Richard tan balanced method stuff, we’re just interested in some of the other more esoteric channel connections, looking at midday, midnight relationships, um, in thinking of this as a primarily gallbladder channel issue, then often looking for Asher points along the heart channel, heart and gallbladder being across the clock from each other and the Chinese clock. Um, if you find a lot, a line of tender points on the forearm and the heart channel, very often needling, those can help quite a bit with upper trapezius stuff because of that heart gallbladder, the David and I relationship. Yeah.
And I think both Josh and myself are in agreement that local needling is also important and we’re not downplaying that, but just for the webinar where we’re not working with people live, we thought we’d focus a little bit more on the symptoms and the distal aspects. The combination is strongest and local distal. Linda Jason is really strongest. Right. Next slide. Uh, so just some things to look for, and then I’ll cue you into the traps. The symptoms that we mentioned are obviously important, but this sort of, um, upward sloping of the clavicle and where it’s kind of making like a V if it’s tense on both sides, uh, shortened on both sides, but that upward sloping and kind of backwards sloping of the clavicle is something that I noticed and kind of start tuning in with, uh, um, over-correct activity in the upper trapezius, particularly also limited range of motion, uh, um, with turning or lateral flection are keys for, um, kind of finding a restriction in the upper trapezius.
Definitely. I think we can go on to the next one. All right. So the SCM can have a similar referral pattern in some ways to the trapezius. Um, and there are actual neurological reasons for that in one sense, the, both the operatory pier or the trapezius and the STM are both innervated by the 11th cranial nerve in addition from like C3 area. And so, uh, they actually start out embryologically as one muscle, the trapezius and the SCM both. And then as you grow as a, as an infant, as child, as your collarbone lengthens, those muscle fibers separate, um, torn. Now there’s actually a gap between the two, but the, the two share a lot of interesting kind of symptomatology and function. Uh, so in terms of symptomatology, you can see in the picture, the SCM in terms of pain or other types of parasthesia causes mostly symptoms in the side of the head, occasionally one SCM will cause symptoms on the opposite side of the head.
Um, but usually it’s centered somewhere around the side of the face, the ear, occasionally the Vertex, um, the occiput, the interesting thing about the STM in particular, and this is one of the few muscles in the body that has this happen is that trigger points can often cause a lot of symptoms that are trigger points, at least in this muscle. It can cause a lot of symptoms that often don’t seem related to muscle function. So muscle symptoms that often seem like they’re more autonomic nervous system phenomenon in terms of the SCM that can include a wide variety of dysfunctions or symptoms of the sense organs. So you can have blurry vision, uh, seeing things like, uh, uh, other, other types of visual disturbances problems with hearing so ringing in the ears. So tinnitus is a common one feeling of pressure in the ears as feeling like fluid in the ears that isn’t from an actual physiological cause.
And it can cause stuffy nose. It can cause excessive, runny nose can cause excessive lacrimation. Um, it can cause dizziness, sometimes some types of vestibular disorders often have a component of SCM or other neck muscle dysfunction. And so it’s also very helpful when you have an understanding of, of what some of the possibilities are for, um, trigger points symptomatology with this muscle, just start recognizing that with some patients. So for instance, for me, commonly, it’s a patient who comes in with maybe sinus or allergy symptoms and they don’t seem to be seasonal or related to anything particular, just kind of there all the time, very commonly, even just palpating the FCM, all of a sudden will cause one of their nostrils to open. And so sometimes treating the SCM for things that can look like allergy symptoms or like hay fever, if it’s seems disconnected from changes in like pollen levels can be something good to look for.
Um, thinking of this, uh, I very commonly end up treating distal points along the stomach channel for this. Um, and also interestingly, the UBI channel, this is not something that if you’re, if you’re only looking at regular channel pathways, you’re going to normally think of, but if you look again at the sinew channel pathways, the UV channel is one of those ones that has pathways that go far away from where the standard kind of channel normally goes. So there’s a, an aspect of the urinary bladder sinew channel that falls up the lat comes across into the Peck and up the neck. And this comes from an aging, just Brian and Matt have actually mapped it onto particular muscles. And so sometimes treating the SCM as a urinary bladder, senior channel muscle can be really helpful. You’ll be 60. I use UV 63 a lot with that sometimes if it happens to be tender or something, or you’ll be 57 or 58. Um, so that’s another fun aspect to that. Uh,
As in young energy, you know, coming up the UV channel. And I, I find when it is, you be an often that has dysfunction associated also with the upper traps, the lower traps, you know, when those are all kind of activating together as that sort of, you know, tension building up the body is where I really see that UV connection.
Absolutely. All right, let’s do the next slide. Um, I I’ll just briefly talk about this before, because we’re not, cause this can muscle can be a little bit harder to examine. Um, partly for safety reasons, because you’re talking about a muscle that is, fascially bundled up with a carotid artery and a lot of other kind of neurovascular structures right near there. Um, most of the time when I treat this, although I do needle it with retention, the way that, um, you will learn in the sports medicine program where essentially needling from stomach nine back towards like small intestine 16 or that area, um, or doing, uh, dry needling, which is a little bit more, requires a little bit more care because your piston and kind of moving the needle in and out, but really learning how to manually release this muscle first, um, and getting really comfortable with the palpation, grabbing the muscle, separating it from the neck and being able to isolate the fibers while you’re pressing on them. Getting very comfortable with that before you start needling, it is a really good idea. Um, anything else kind of in general to say about palpating and treating that muscle that you want to add? Brian,
And then I think I agree with that, uh, um, manual work. If you’ve not used a needle in this muscle, get in, Hey, you’ll get a lot of benefit from, uh, doing the manual work. It’s it’s, um, it’s one that, uh, does well with manual work, but it gets your hands acclimated to that ability to sort of pull the muscle away and feel the, the, how far, how deep that muscle goes and where it is in relationship to other structures. So that’s very important.
Yeah. And I’ll, I’ll say that when I teach this material at school out here in Seattle, uh, the first thing that I have students do for the first year of their education before they do any needling of any of these is they learn manual releases for all of these muscles, because they’re especially as an acupuncturist, if you don’t get a lot of chance to practice specifically palpating muscles, like we’ve talked about, um, it can be very difficult to just start needling them. And so I want to make sure that like my students in particular have of experience with manual palpation and treating the muscles just with their hands first cause then growing into the needling is actually relatively easy.
We’ll say something interesting about the SCM is a two headed muscle, S S C M Sterno and uh, clavicular heads, both attaching to the mastoid process. Um, the channel relationships as the sternal head tends to be more associated with the stomach channel and the [inaudible] had more associated with the sand gel channel. So if you go back and look at the club, vicular had distribution in particular, you’ll see that it does refer deep in the year. And that’s often what people, when you’re working with, it’s like, oh, I feel that in my ear. And that’s the one that has more of a tendency to cause things like, uh, postural vertigo. And, and, um, the point is, is if you look at that clavicular head in particular and then go think about points like San Jo three or sand JAL five, and the relationship of the sand Dow channel to the year, it’s again, one of those areas where you can start to see a little parallel between channel theory and trigger point theory.
Yeah, definitely. Right. Next slide. Yeah. Why don’t we
Get to, I think we’re there. We have Josh and myself knew we had a lot of information and weren’t sure we’re going to get through it all. I don’t want to downplay levator scapula. It’s such an awesome muscle to be familiar with. Um, but let’s go pass this one to, uh, pass this and we’re going to go, I think, to infraspinatus Josh, why don’t you take infraspinatus?
All right. So this is along mean all these muscles. This is going to be true, but the infraspinatus along with like the upper trap and the, um, SCM are ones that if you just build your practice around treating like just this muscle, you would still be incredibly busy and have lots of very, very happy patients. Um, so this is one of the most common areas for trigger points that need to be treated for almost any kind of shoulder joint dysfunction, but also, uh, very commonly for pain in just pain in general in the front of the shoulder, but also down the arm, even all the way down to the thumb fingers of the hand. So the, the most common location for the referral for this one is deep pain in the front of the shoulder. And this can often feel like mean patients will often describe it as like a toothpick kind of sensation around like the large intestine, 15 area.
Um, very commonly they’re going to come in and be told they have bicipital tenor synovitis or bicipital tendonitis because the pain often occurs right over the biceps tendon as it’s going through the, the bicipital groove. Um, this is really a small intestine sinew channel muscle, even though the most common referral pattern is down, essentially the large intestine and partly the lung channel and the best way to treat this distally is usually through small intestine channel points. So a small for can be helpful. Um, most of the time I’m using essentially small intestine three and a half, which is the motor point for the abductor digiti [inaudible], um, kind of right between it’s like the large intestine, four of the small intestine channel, essentially kind of right in the middle of that, of the metacarpal, uh, bone there, where the muscle is. Um, but again, this is one of those muscles that if you get good at palpating, it, uh, for any kind of shoulder problem, this can be really helpful to treat.
And not just because of the referral pattern, another very common issue with any kind of shoulder problem is the biomechanical dysfunction that happens. Even if just someone has mild pain, they start kind of using the shoulder a little bit differently. The, uh, the strain of, of even just raising your arm or whether it’s something like playing tennis or reaching up for a can of tomato sauce in your pantry or something like that. When you have pain from any cause for the shoulder, it starts altering the biomechanics of the scapula. Often the scapula doesn’t move as well, and the rotator cuff muscles, and have to do extra work to kind of stabilize the head of the humerus and to kind of make sure you have the as much arm elevation as you need. So usually the first thing that happens is the rotator cuff muscles of which the infraspinatus is one start developing trigger points or other dysfunction. And so regulating the relationships among all the rotator cuff muscles, which usually involves infraspinatus and also subscap, which we’ll get into in a different discussion, um, can be incredibly helpful, um, for just a wide variety of not just referred pain issues, but also any kind of glenohumeral, biomechanical issue.
Anything to add to that, Brian. Yeah, I see an X on there that I think is an artifact. I might’ve put an X on SSI 11 because that’s such a common area of trigger point formation, even that could be anywhere in the muscle and moving that image around. I think there’s a little artifact there. So don’t go looking for a trigger point in the infraspinatus off of the scapula. That’s an extra price on the top the top. Right.
Okay. Well, you understand that, that be more than that. All right. Uh, next slide. Uh, oh yeah, yeah. As soon as some examination infraspinatus, so often anything that’s going to stretch the infraspinatus, it’s an external rotator. So usually end range of internal rotation or not even end-range of it’s really severe. So reaching behind your back, like to get a wallet out of your pocket, unstrapping a bra, but also having the muscle contract fully can also often cause a pain. So external rotation often that’s going to be like brushing your hair right. Going up into this motion was causing contractually external rotators. Um, so that’s a general rule of thumb with points is that the pain can be brought on either by fully stretching the muscle or by contracting the muscle. So it’s another thing you have to really start to understand work doing this kind of work is what muscle functions are and for any given motion in one part of the body or when joint, which muscles are contracting, which muscles are stretching. So understanding agonist, antagonist relationships, um, can be really helpful in diagnosis, as well as treatment planning in terms of figuring out what spinal levels you want to add to help kind of, uh, normalize muscle function,
Right. Then you can go to the next one. Yeah. And I think we’ll just go through these quick, cause I know, uh, uh, we’ve gone a little past the time that we were hoping for a work around and talk all day, but I know some of you guys probably need to get back to work. Um, so quadratus lumborum is such an important structure. And the referral that you can see is, is kind of generally at that iliac crest region down towards the greater trocanter, uh, deep into the glute area, it’s such an important structure to learn how to needle, especially in a class setting, um, for, uh, uh, to be able to, uh, work on directly, uh, just because it’s so indicated and so many, uh, types of back pain conditions, uh, the work we do in sports medicine acupuncture would probably surprise a lot of people.
If you haven’t heard this already as a, we see this as part of the liver send new channel. Now the liver sinew channel ends at the groin, but if we were to follow that myofascial plane up from the ad doctors going right in that iliac fossa, um, its continuous myofascial plane into the iliac as muscle that would continue right into the quadratus lumborum. So even though you have to get to it through the back, um, it’s really a very deep core structure on the plane of the myofascial, send you a channel of deliver, uh, channel liver network and liver five. And sometimes even adding liver five with liver three as a combo is just a really magical combination for, um, reducing pain in the, um, quadratus lumborum again, a local needle is so important there, but uh, oftentimes just from palpatory pain, liver five and, and um, adding liver three, we’ll reduce it by 50% you go back and palpate afterwards you’ll find that that the pain is reduced by 50% just with those points. And they often, especially liver five becomes very reactive, very tender, very easy to find when the quadrant is some farms under a lot of pressure, a lot of stress.
Yeah. And I would just add, if you treat low back pain, get to know the QL, it’s a, it’s one of the most important muscles along with like the, so as to treat for any kind of low back dysfunction yeah.
Then attaches above into the 12th rib leads right into the diaphragm. So it’s kind of starts to get getting you into that visceral core of the body. Um, so elevated ilium, the next slide is showing, uh, that’s just measuring the helium from the side. We’ve talked about that a lot, various other, um, myself and various other webinars. Um, it’s on our sports medicine, acupuncture, uh, blogs, you’ll see blogs on Anjana syndrome and stuff like that. And it’ll go into that in a little bit more depth if you want to reference those. So let’s look then at the glute medius and minimus, we’ll skip this one, so right. And to medias, why don’t you finish these up Josh? We could probably even look at them as a pair.
Yeah. So this is another one of those long with the QL and the other ones. This is one of the really important points to treat, um, this in the minimus, uh, really for low back pain in addition to hip dysfunctions. So in Trevell often she talks about the referral pattern for the glute medius, which is the larger, more superficial lateral hip muscle primarily. Um, Ady ducts the hip. Uh, the referral pattern generally tends to be somewhere around the sacrum and the iliac crest and a little bit around the gluteal area itself. And then if you go to the next slide that the minimis, which is deeper, kind of underneath the, uh, the glute medius kind of closer to the ilium, um, slightly smaller in scope that the minimus tends to refer down the leg and can really mimic sciatica or any other kind of an L five radiculopathy in practice.
I’ve found that it seems like the glute medias can also refer down the leg like this. Um, I’ve had, I’ve had treated some patients where I know I’m treating the glute medius cause I’m nowhere near deep enough or I’m like right at the iliac crest and they still get the referred pain down the leg. So basically the, really the significance of this muscle or this pair of muscles to me is really this particular referral pattern. And aside from, um, the biomechanical aspects of it as an add doctor, one of the, it’s the really important muscle for stabilizing the pelvis. Every time you walk and take a step, right? If you understand a little bit about orthopedic medicine, you know, the Trendelenburg sign, have someone pick up one foot and look to see if like, if they’re standing on their right foot, if the, if the left side of their pelvis drops, when they stand, they kind of like sag a little bit that’s culture and Ellenberg sign, it’s a sign of dysfunction and, and not a lack of firing of the gluteus medius and minimus.
Uh, and that has repercussions for postural and movement function throughout the rest of the body, along with the QL and muscles in the neck. Um, but aside from those structural issues, the pain referral pattern for this, if you learn to recognize it and then to treat it by treating these muscles up around between like gallbladder 29 and gallbladder 30 in that area, uh, this can mean potentially even have some patients, you know, keep them from getting unnecessary surgeries. I’ve had patients who have been told they had, they needed like a spinal fusion, things like that because they have pain radiating down the leg. We treat the glute medius and minimus and their pain goes away. Right? Cause it’s really, really common for trigger points in muscles for number of reasons that I can have an entire lecture on that. Even in Western medicine circles, they get ignored.
And for some of the muscles like this, where the implications of not realizing that it’s a muscular issue are the implications when there’s something like getting a surgery to fix the problem, uh, that can become a really big issue. That can be very important to the patient. So learning to recognize these, uh, you will, if you start treating this type of thing, have the experience of having, uh, the patient, um, realize they maybe don’t need this very invasive surgery that is that they’re planning to have. Um, just because they’ve been told by one person like an orthopedic surgeon that you need to have like a spinal fusion. So that’s one of the, this was one of the really important muscles that I find for that issue in particular. Right?
Yeah. And it’s also becomes dysfunctional with, uh, frequently with the quadratus lumborum. So even needling, sometimes QL will refer down the leg because of that stimulation from QL into its referrals zone at the glute medius minimus region, and then stimulate, you know, it’s almost like a transfer through that. So, um, but, but those are very, um, very often in dysfunction together. And lo and behold, we have a liver and gallbladder relationship then. So a consideration yeah. Consideration of liver five, uh, and gallbladder 40 source point to help, uh, kind of build energy. And the gallbladder’s a new channel for these muscles that tend to be inhibited and pain generators when there’s inhibition, not always, but that’s the tendency and, uh, liver five to help with that more overactive, uh, add doctors. But we talk more about the quadratus lumborum so QL and add doctors on the liver test and new channels. So something to consider with that really a great combination. All right. Well, I think that, uh, thanks for bearing with us already. We took a little time with that, but, um, it was a pleasure working with Josh and tune in next week for, uh, Jeffrey Grossman’s, uh, presentation. Uh, and thanks again for everybody for coming. Thank you, Josh.