Trigger points develop when the myofascia (the tissue covering a muscle) tightly contracts and adheres to itself, causing pain and loss of proper muscle function. Trigger points in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine often occur in the quadratus laborum muscle, which is located in the back of the abdomen, and which connects the spine to the pelvis. The pain caused by these trigger points, which may be so intense as to prevent someone from standing, can often manifest itself in the following areas of the body:
- Lower back
- Lower buttocks
Failing to treat trigger points in any area of the body can often be detrimental, as doing so forces the surrounding muscles to work harder, often eventually causing them to develop their own trigger points. For this reason, it is imperative to seek prompt treatment if you suspect you may have trigger points in your lower back. In many cases, patients will achieve pain relief after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, potentially consisting of pain medication, heat/cold therapy, stretching and physical therapy.
If pain persists after said amount of time, however, it may be advisable to seek the additional conservative treatment option of trigger point injections in the lower back. These injections, which contain cortisone and either saline or a local anesthetic, are inserted in the lower back muscle at issue, where they inactivate the trigger point and alleviate any resulting pain. Although some soreness is to be expected following the injection, it typically resolves within three to four days, during which time patients should refrain from any strenuous activities.