Every day I see people in some kind of pain or another, and whether it is Sciatic, lower back pain, neck or shoulder pain, often Trigger Point Therapy is my go-to treatment option for effective relief.
Trigger points are an obscure muscular pathology that are not exactly proven and are even a little controversial in the world of pain science.
So what are Trigger Points?
You might have heard of or even used the term muscle “knots” before to describe when you have sore spots and tension, which are believed to be “mini-cramps” or isolated muscle fiber spasms.
The cause is a little fuzzy as well, in most cases it is due simply to a lack of oxygenated blood in the tissue and so the function is restricted and the pain is the body’s way of trying to tell you something is not quite right.
However it can also be attributed to the protection mechanism in your muscle control system causing tension to avoid injury, in much the same way a full blown muscle strain might occur. Essentially it is the nervous system doing its job to avoid injury and at the epicenter of these spots is quite commonly a trigger point.
How does Trigger Point Therapy work?
A typical trigger point will have one or more referral pathways in which pain will be felt when applying pressure to the trigger point.
An example of a referral pathway might be feeling a headache that is caused by tense Trapezius muscles in the shoulders and neck, which has activated the Trapezius trigger points. To help relieve the headache and the afflicting muscle tension, firm and generally prolonged pressure is applied to the point in a specific way until the point is released.
Another very effective way of applying Trigger Point Therapy is through the use of Dry Needling, whereby the practitioner will use similar to acupuncture needles to stimulate the muscle and release the point. In many cases it is less painful and even more effective then the use of firm manual pressure.
In either approach the effects are often immediate, however in many cases it take a few hours or so for the body and nervous system to settle down and for the symptoms to fully subside.
Is Trigger Point Therapy Really Effective?
After many years of using Trigger Point Therapy I am convinced it is one of the most effective treatments to chronic pain particularly when used in conjunction with needling and/or cross fiber techniques. I often speak to colleagues and clients who swear by it!
If you are dealing with pain symptoms that you are not sure what to do about, come in and see us at Fairfield Massage Therapy, where we provide skilled manual Trigger Point Therapy and Dry Needling.
Hope we can help!