Myofascial Pain Syndrome Support Group

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (or MPS) is a term used to describe one of the conditions characterized by chronic pain. It is associated with and caused by "trigger points" (TrPs), sensitive and painful areas between the muscle and fascia. The symptoms can range from referred pain through myofascial trigger points to specific pains in other areas of the body. It may be related to a complex condition known as fibromyalgia.

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Success treating stomach trigger points?

Hi everyone,
Has anyone had any success treating their lower abdomen trigger points? I have found a couple below my belly button and between my belly button and my hips. My stomach is very cramped and low pain pain has increased significantly. I have found the trigger points and have been trying to massage them (very painful!), I got them needled yesterday and will again tomorrow but want to do everything I can in between needling treatments.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.



Do you have the Trigger Point workbook by Clair Davies? It is a great self-help book. Besides working on the psoas myself, I have three other practitioners who work on my trigger points. It is all helpful. Did you have any physical trauma or do you hold stress in this area? I was told my John Barnes that these were usually the reasons one has tight fascia in the abdomen. I think I had both trauma from pelvic imbalances and emotional stress held in this area He said that the tight fascia was pulling my pelvis out of postion. It is important to get both trigger points and tight fascia released. This has been my experience with the lower abdomen, especially the posas. Keep working on those trigger points and you should see some results. You might consider adding a John Barnes trained myofascial release therapist to your treatments if you cut down the number of times you go to dry needling. Right now I think you are going 3 times a week and that is about all a body can handle. Again, this is just my experience. Take care.

Yep, very painful. After I first massaged my Psoas muscles (the ones you describe to the side of your belly button going down) they got really sore and have continued that way. There is soreness right at the surface of the skin, which there was not before. I just lightly massage them with my Dolphin massager now. I wish I could do more. I suspect these muscles are key to my alignment issues with my pelvis

Thank you both so much for the quick replies.
It is good to know that you would recommend Clair Davies' book! That is what I was using today to learn how to massage the trigger points.
I have had trauma to my lower back (L5Si) and surgery there about a year ago. No trauma to my stomach though. I do think that I hold stress there. A doctor recently mentioned that when I breathe, I only fill up my chest and not my lower stomach, and that this can aggravate the shoulder blade trigger points. I suspect that I am breathing like this because of the stomach pain.
I am excited to look up John Barnes to see if that would be worth while for me.
You both mention that these can cause alignment issues. This is encouraging because once they are released, that will hopefully help with our alignments.
Thanks for the advice and if I find something that helps, I will be sure to let you know.

I got needled in my stomach both yesterday and today and although it is early to tell, I think that it was pretty successful. I had some HUGE muscle twitched/releases. The muscles that kind of wrap around the top of my hip bones were very tight and responded well to the needling. I could literally feel the muscles jumping and releasing. I have also been doing the self massage as much as I can tolerate. My stomach is very sore now and I have been nauseous all day but I am looking forward to seeing how it feels tomorrow.

One reason I got so frustrated in trying to treat my trigger points is because what seemed to work for others never gave me one iota of relief. I would poke and prod and press until my fingers were bruised and sore.
I had the ones you refer to, in the abdomen and right in middle of belly button. That one almost drove me crazy. But they were all over. I lived like this in a perpetual state of horrible pain for many many years with no way to find relief. Idid the myofascial release, botox, massage, I can't even remember!
The first relief I got was when I started accupunture back in september. I noticed my trigger points would ease up.
But since I started getting under very very strong jets in a warm water pool or a large hot tub I have had substantial gain in ridding myself of these trigger points that refuse to go. I also swim in the warm water or just float.
On top of that I started Klonopin. It is helping some too.
Just my experience.
I hope you can get some relief. I really don't know how much longer I could have stood it.

Pauli, you do have answers. I am so glad that the acupuncture and warm water therapy along with the hot tub jets are helping you. I was concerned that you said that you had given up, but I see that you haven't.

I am so glad that you have found something that gives you relief. The fact that your trigger points have started to ease up after having them for many years is awesome.
I have only been getting treatment (dry needling) for 2 months so far but have already noticed that some areas start to get better and then quickly relapse. I think that the most challenging part in beating this is going to be figuring out how to keep them all away. You mention you have them all over - have you noticed that the ones in your neck have been the most stubborn? Maybe because those muscles are used the most having to hold my head up but I have found it very difficult to clean up this area.
I hope you continue to get better and better!

Paulie, that's such good news. Like Carole, I thought you had given up and just resolved to live in pain. haven't mentioned exercise yet in conjunction with trp therapy. I found that it was really important to stretch areas that had been worked to compliment the therapy.
Also, it's really important to locate the mechanical origin of the problem and target muscles to give support. But no resistance exercise should take place while trigger points still exist.
Shallow breathing does come with pain. I had to work at it really hard for a week but was able to retrain myself to breathe into my abdominals instead. I still have that tendency to breathe shallow both with stress and pain, so I have to attend to it all the time still. Friends have told me that eventually I will not revert back so often.
Sounds like you are making good progress. I hope that continues for you.

That's great that you were able to teach yourself to breathe into your abdominals. I am thinking about writing on my hand or something to always remind to be to conscious of it.
Thanks for mentioning the importance of stretching. Sometimes its hard to get myself up to do them but afterwards I always feel less tight.
So far, the dry needling to my stomach this week has helped a lot. I am bruised and sore but I can tell that the tight bands and trigger points are a lot looser. I also do not feel as cramped and nauseous today.
Hope you are having a great day!!

Wow, it is amazing that you did the dry needling in the abdomen area. Was this on the deep psoas muscled running down the to side of the belly button? I guess I would be a little scared to get injected there because it is so deep. I might bring up the possibility with the osteopath I will see this Wednesday, who said he was going to do some trigger point injections.

Yes, I was needled in the psoas and the iliacus. My psoas muscles were needled while I was laying on my side. She went in with the needle just above the hip bone.
I would definitely ask your doctor about it. I don't know if there would be a reason not to do injections in the abdomen but I am happy with the dry needling there. I believe that the trigger points in my stomach are a major contributor to the lower back pain I have. I have noticed a significant decrease in my lower back pain since my stomach trigger points were worked on earlier this week. I think that I will need them needled again in a couple days but they are for sure a lot better now.
I would say that the pain in similar to needles in other areas. It is just weird knowing that it is in your stomach.
Good luck and please let us know how it goes!
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