Trigger points can form in muscles which have been overused or injured. They feel like nodules or taut bands of fibers within the soft tissues - kind of like a little bit of half-cooked macaroni.
Trigger points can present themselves as referred patterns of sensation like sharp pain, tingling, dull ache, pins and needles, heat, or cold, or they can create symptoms like nausea, blurred vision, ear ache, or disturbance of equilibrium.
It is very common to attribute the discomfort of tight muscles and trigger points to arthritis. This is part of why massage therapy can often help relieve arthritis pain symptoms.
Often times pain is felt at a remote site, and treatment of the pain site might feel good, but not bring relief. Fortunately, trigger points have a generally predictable pain referral pattern, so it is often a simple task to relieve the pain if these patterns are known.
Releasing trigger points can release endorphins, so there may be a feeling of being energized as well as relief from pain. Recent studies have shown that as much as 95% of unexplainable pain is attributable to trigger points.