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Trigger points are defined as the hypersensitive locations in the muscles and connective tissue that cause pain in response to stress. They can develop into tight bands or knots that can cause pain, muscle spasms, and limitation in joint movement.

Trigger points often don't occur in the same location as the pain, but rather at some distance from it. Known as "referred pain," this physical dislocation of a symptom is due to the interconnected nature of the muscles and fasciae.

The causes of trigger points can vary. Treatment almost always focuses on hands-on techniques to identify the location and alleviate of the restriction. The goal is to minimize pain and return the muscles and fibers to their normal state.

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Trigger-point therapy is one aspect of myofascial therapy that encompasses all treatments for pain in the muscles and connective tissue.