Abdominal Pain and Trigger Points
External Oblique Muscles
Similarly to the other abdominal muscles, external oblique myofascial trigger points can refer pain anywhere locally throughout the abdominal region.
This pain is often exacerbated during the menstrual cycle. Pain can refer down into the groin and sometimes to the testicles.
The posterior fibers of the external oblique are usually overlapped by the latissimus dorsi, but in some cases there is a space between the two, known as the lumbar triangle, situated just above the iliac crest.
The lumbar triangle is a weak point in the abdominal wall.
External Oblique Muscle - Common Trigger Point Sites
Lower eight ribs.
Anterior half of iliac crest, and into an abdominal aponeurosis that terminates in the linea alba (a tendinous band extending downward from the sternum).
Compresses abdomen, helping to support abdominal viscera against pull of gravity. Contraction of one side alone bends trunk laterally to that side and rotates it to opposite side.
Ventral rami of thoracic nerves, T5–T12.
Basic Functional Movement
Example: digging with a shovel.
Trigger Point Referred Pain Patterns
Costal margin: abdominal pain to chest.
Lower lateral: testicular pain. Local pain.
Pubic rim: bladder pain. Frequency/ retention (urine). Groin.
"Pain can refer down into the groin and sometimes to the testicles"
Abdominal pain and tenderness, groin pain, testicular pain, bladder pain, nausea, colic, dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, viscerosomatic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, lower crossed pattern, bedwetting in children.
Direct trauma (commonly from overexertion during sports), poor sit-up technique, prolonged cross- legged sitting, coughing, emotional stress, may be related to back pain, post-surgical (abdominal).
Visceral pathology including: renal, hepatic, pancreatic, diverticular disease, colitis, appendicitis, hiatus hernia, peritoneal disease—pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian, bladder.
Transversus abdominis, internal oblique, rectus abdominis, pyramidalis.
External Oblique Trigger Points - Typical Referred Pain Pattern (Lower Fibers)
External Oblique Trigger Points - Typical Referred Pain Pattern (Lateral view, upper and lower fibers)
About NAT Courses
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About Niel Asher Education
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Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.
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NAMTPT AWARD 2017
We are honored to have received the 2017 "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.
Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.
Award Winning Instructors
Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.
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There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.
Niel Asher Technique
Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.
The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.
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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
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