Another professional with doubts about the concept of muscular “trigger points,” Adam Meakins, has a suggestion:
In light of this uncertainty, I suggest that we should not be explaining trigger points as muscle knots, but rather that they are simply soft tissue sore spots of an unknown origin!
STSSOAUO doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue, but I like the sentiment: by all means, let’s (please) start regularly conceding our ignorance of the nature of this beast. Every book on the subject still reads like it’s a nearly-solved mystery, with just a few details to be filled in, which is just a tad overconfident.
And yet I don’t really have any beef with the term “trigger points.” Everyone acknowledges that there’s a painful phenomenon, and we have to call it something. Mystery points? Sufferin’ spots? Humility matters more than the label.
Meakins’ article is like a nice abridged version of my own (Trigger Point Doubts), but it’s published (behind a paywall) in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Yeah, I’m jealous.