WHAT IS TRIGGER POINT THERAPY?
A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may produce referral pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache.
Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.
HOW ARE TRIGGER POINTS FORMED?
The damage to muscle and connective tissue which results in trigger points can occur several ways. It can happen as the result of:
- Repetitive overuse injuries (i.e. Using the same body parts in the same way hundreds of times on a daily basis) from activities such as typing/mousing, handheld electronics, gardening, home improvement projects, work environments, etc.
- Sustained loading as with heavy lifting, carrying babies, briefcases, boxes, wearing body armor or lifting bedridden patients.
- Habitually poor posture due to our sedentary lifestyles, de-conditioning and poorly designed furniture
- Muscle clenching and tensing due to mental/emotional stress.
- Direct injury such as a blow, strain, break, twist or tear. Think car accidents, sports injuries, falling down stairs and the like.
- Inactivity such as prolonged bed rest or sitting.
COMMON CONDITIONS TREATED
- Trigger Points
- Low Back Pain
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- IT Band Syndrome
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
Patients evaluated in one pain management center were found to have a myofascial component to their pain in 95% of cases (Gerwin RD. A study of 96 subjects examined for both fibromyalgia and myofascial pain. J Musculoskeletal Pain 1995; 3 (suppl. 1):121-5.). There is increasing awareness that active myofascial trigger points often play a role in the symptoms of patients with conditions such as tension headaches (Fernandez-de-Las-Penas C, onso-Blanco C, Cuadrado ML, Gerwin RD, Pareja JA.
For more information, please visit the trigger points tab under the commonly treated conditions.
BEFORE YOUR MASSAGE
Dehydration can stiffen the fascia and muscles, which translates to a more painful massage. Ensure you’re sipping adequate amounts of H20 before you hop on the table. If you are dealing with a serious sports injury though, and don’t have a diagnosis, definitely see one of our doctors. While a therapist can identify and attempt to alleviate any tightness and inflammation in the body, it is very important you first consult with a sports doctor. Once a diagnosis is given, your massage therapist can work with that information and use massage as a helpful tool in recovery.