First of all, what are trigger points?
Trigger points are areas within a skeletal muscle that cause pain when compressed. They can develop from overuse, lack of use, or trauma. You may feel a knotted lump when you apply pressure to the area, giving trigger points the nickname “muscle knots.” The most likely places for trigger points to form include the neck, shoulders, and back, but they can manifest in almost any skeletal muscle in the body. Many patients experience restrictions in their range of movement. If you have referred pain, the underlying cause of trigger points can be notoriously tricky to pin down without the help of a registered massage therapist. Trigger point massage therapists are experts at determining the causes of myofascial pain and locating the source of an associated injury or strain.
How do Trigger Points feel?
Trigger points often are sore when pressed and can cause pain in that spot as well as radiate to other parts of the body. When a trigger point is “triggered,” expect to feel sharp pain, followed by a nagging or throbbing sensation that can go away as fast as it came, or linger for weeks or even months. Trigger points come in a couple of different forms and can feel like anything from a relatively low-level ache right up to extreme pain.
Active Trigger Points can cause both local and referred pain, and most patients have some level of constant discomfort.
Latent Trigger Points may not cause pain all the time but may begin to hurt when you use a specific body part, for instance.
Trigger point therapy is an alternative medicine focused on detecting and releasing trigger points. The treatment is known by other names as well, including myofascial trigger point therapy and neuromuscular therapy. This article will give you more information about trigger point therapy to help you decide if it’s right for you.
What is Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger point therapy consists of a variety of treatments designed to release pressure on the affected area, thereby allowing the knotted muscle to relax. Treatments vary depending on your symptoms or condition, and by what your therapist recommends. Of the many kinds of trigger point therapies, the most common include therapeutic massage, dry needling and trigger point release.
Massage therapy is an effective way to reach stubborn muscle knots. While you may be able to work out some of the knots with self-massage, it’s best to leave severe trigger points to a licensed massage therapist. Practiced hands can break up trigger point scar tissue and improve blood flow to the area, delivering much-needed oxygen and nutrients to help your muscles heal.
Many therapists have incorporated trigger point therapy into their treatment plans for those suffering from both chronic and acute pain and certain medical symptoms and conditions. Registered massage therapists employ specialist techniques to identify trigger points and diagnose referred myofascial pain. Then, they use sophisticated physical manipulation to treat the condition.
What Can Trigger Point Therapy Treat?
The purpose of trigger point therapy is to release areas of tight, knotted muscles in your body, relieving pain, stiffness, and discomfort in the process. Many health problems are linked to muscle tightness, so this treatment has many effective applications. Talk to a trigger point therapy specialist if you suffer from any of the following:
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
Lower back pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
How does a Trigger Point RMT work?
When you visit a registered massage therapist, they’ll begin by locating the source of your problem using careful palpation, looking for tighter bands of muscle, knots, and areas that feel tender to the touch. They may ask you about specific referred pain and sensations while they manipulate body areas seeking out referred myofascial pain. In this way, registered massage therapists can identify which areas need work.
Trigger point massage is carried out by highly experienced practitioners who’ll apply pressure using their thumbs, hands, and even elbows. Trigger point release works to alleviate tension and ease the pain associated with myofascial disorders – it’s a big part of the registered massage therapy equation for treating trigger points, but it’s rarely a permanent fix on its own.
It’s essential that the registered massage therapist addresses both the symptoms and causes of trigger points. Otherwise, you may exacerbate the issue once your pain has been relieved. For trigger points, massage therapists take a holistic approach to treatment.
They’ll work with you to identify permanent solutions, recommend exercises, educate you about preventing repetitive strains and injury, as well as providing both a long and short-term solution to the pain itself. Often, when your range of movement gets impeded or muscles are weakened by trigger points, other muscles will step up to compensate. That can cause further trigger points to occur, so it’s vital to treat the root cause of myofascial pain.
Different patients respond in various ways to trigger point therapy, and when an injury receives timely treatment, recovery can be quick. Chronic pain (persisting at least a few months after an injury has healed) may require additional massage therapy, but the outlook for people who experience trigger point pain is typically good.
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, it’s a good idea to talk to a registered massage therapist. Contact me for more information