What is Trigger Point Therapy?

Dr. Janet Travel of USA is credited with the development of trigger point therapy or trigger point massage in the ’40s. The masseuse applies pressure on the affected muscles and nodules inside the muscles to rectify physical dysfunction and to relieve pain. Because this massage therapy applies pressure on the myofascial sheath enveloping the muscles, it is also commonly referred to as myofascial massage therapy.

What are Trigger Points?

There are sore spots inside your muscles which you can feel with your hands – they are so big and palpable. In common parlance these are known as muscle knots and they might be latent or active. It is the active trigger points which cause the muscle pain.

Latent trigger points are dormant muscle knots that will wake up in the future and give you trouble when they will be released through movement or tension. Trigger point massage therapists are of the belief that limited movement and joint stiffness experienced by elderly people are caused by latent trigger points.

Trigger points are sometimes triggered by fibromyalgia, overexertion, birth injuries, other kinds of injuries sustained during childhood, poor posture and myofascial pain disorders.  Symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, tingling in the affected muscles, stabbing, sharp pains, numbness, muscle shortening and muscle tension.

Explanation of trigger point therapy

There are bundles of nerves surrounding your muscles. Therapists who offer trigger point massage are of the belief that these nerve bundles continue to accumulate toxins over time.

After sufficient accumulation of toxins, the latter can form palpable tender nodules inside your muscles. This will create pressure on the bundle of nerves and result in pain.

A trigger point massage therapist applies pressure on the nodules to break them down and this relieves joint pain and muscle pain all throughout the body.

It is usually a taut band of muscle fibres where the trigger points are located. The most tender spot in that muscle band is the trigger point. Your masseuse will use finger pressure to locate these nodules and will deactivate them using specific massage techniques. Sometimes a masseuse uses a pincer grip for picking up the muscle fibres.

One trigger point massage is simply not enough to get rid of your chronic pain disorders. You may require a series of ongoing massage treatments to obtain complete relief from pain. A trigger point massage therapy is generally uncomfortable, but the discomfort should not cross your tolerance levels.

Health benefits of trigger point therapy

This massage therapy can significantly help to relieve the pain associated with chronic conditions.

Benefits include fewer muscle spasms, improved circulation and flexibility, minimized headaches, minimized tension and muscle stiffness and an increase in your range of motions. If you are suffering from back aches, arthritis and fibromyalgia or are recovering from an accident or injury, this massage therapy will be of immense help to you.

Trigger point massage is an effective treatment for athletic muscle tension and muscle stiffness, athletic injuries, migraine, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and tendonitis.

The muscles that are best treated by a trigger point therapy are latissimus dorsi, teres major and minor, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, thoracic paraspinal, serratus anterior and posterior, rhomboids, SCM, scalene, posterior neck muscles, levator scapula and trapezius.