Myofascial trigger points: Peripheral or central phenomenon?

Current Rheumatology Reports, 11/27/2013

Trigger points (TrP) are hyperirritable spots in a taut band of a skeletal muscle, which usually have referred pain. There is controversy over whether TrP are a peripheral or central nervous system phenomenon. Referred pain, the most characteristic sign of TrP, is a central phenomenon initiated and activated by peripheral sensitization, whereby the peripheral nociceptive input from the muscle can sensitize dorsal horn neurons that were previously silent. Proper TrP management may prevent and reverse the development of pain propagation in chronic pain conditions, because inactivation of TrP attenuates central sensitization.

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