Doctors aren't sure what causes trigger points. They may result from a single serious injury to a muscle or from repetitive minor injuries to a muscle area. Other possible causes of trigger points include poor posture, a vitamin deficiency, joint problems or maintaining an awkward body position. Trigger points are also common symptoms in people who have a condition called chronic myofascial pain (CMP), a neuromuscular disorder that affects the muscles and the tissue surrounding them (fascia).
Exercise, stress relief and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain and inflammation from trigger points. If those measures don't work, a doctor can sometimes inject a pain reliever, a water solution or a corticosteroid directly into the trigger point. Botulinum toxin is also sometimes used for trigger point injections. Sometimes simply inserting a needle into a trigger point without injecting medicine into it can break the pain cycle and bring relief.