Trigger Point Therapy
Myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points of referred pain.
A central trigger point occurs when the muscle fibers at this location become impaired. As a result of the trigger point, increased tension develops in the muscle fiber, and the fiber itself becomes a taut, tense band with easily irritated, painful knots / trigger points along its length. The muscle has lost its ability to relax, and this can result in pain. It is called a trigger point because it "triggers" a painful response.
But a trigger point is more than a tender nodule. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is located, but also causes "referred pain" in tissues supplied by the nerves. For example, a trigger point in the trapezius muscle, which is located on top of the shoulder, can cause referred pain in muscles of the jaw and neck/head area. Sometimes, a key trigger point might go undiagnosed because most of the pain is felt in other, referred areas. When the trigger point is treated successfully, the symptoms in the referred areas will go away as well. Check out our Trigger Point Symptom Checker for more information.
How Does Trigger Point Therapy Work?
The treatment can be applied while the client remains dressed, standing up or lying down. The biggest challenge with Trigger Point therapy is finding the point itself, as referred pain may hide its actual location. I will apply pressure to the point itself for a short period of time, coaxing the trigger point to release and relax the tissue. I may also suggest ways of how you can easily continue to release trigger points with a tennis ball.
Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point therapy is often used to treat chronic pain conditions. Benefits include:
Increased range of motion
Decreased muscle stiffness and tension
Reduction in headaches
Fewer muscle spasms
Those who might be able to benefit the most include anyone coping with a chronic pain disorder like fibromyalgia. Clients who suffer from back pain, neck pain, headaches, or carpal tunnel syndrome may find trigger point therapy especially beneficial.