When you experience pain in muscle tissue, you may not be aware that the perceived area of pain may not be the point causing the pain. For example, the pain you are feeling could be in your shoulder, however the actual problem could be radiating from your neck.
Practitioners call this a ‘referred pain pattern’. The point the pain is emanating from is called a trigger point and when the trigger points are pressed, tenderness may be felt or twitching of the area may occur.
The problem occurs because the contracting muscle fiber becomes “knotted” or seized. It is in a state of contraction and the pain is caused due to the muscle not releasing. This reduces the effective flow of blood through the knotted muscle which further delays muscle release and repair.
Trigger points are certain areas of the muscle tissue which become affected and cause pain due to built-up tension. The trigger points can occur within all areas of the body, but are most common in the back and neck. Sometimes, trigger point pain spreads to other areas of the body. You may experience a sharp or dull ache that becomes worse with movement.
Trigger point massage therapy is especially designed and formulated to ease the pain by finding the source of the problem through explicit pressure and release patterns. The patient participates in the therapeutic action by breathing deeply and helping to identify the location and degree of the pain.
Once the trigger point is located, this therapy technique works by massage and mildly intense, specific pressure techniques on the identified trigger point. This easing of tension or reduction of trauma of the myofascial tissue (the tissue which covers your muscles, nerves, blood vessels and organs) causes a near-immediate relief of pain in the referred area.
Health Benefits – Ease Pain and Tension
If you experience back and neck pain or headache and other pain in the head or face, you’ll love this therapy. The therapist locates the trigger points and releases the pain and tension, thereby providing rapid relief.
Trigger Point Therapy Manages Pain
Using Trigger Point therapy can help you to holistically manage the pain and stress you may experience from chronic injuries or painful conditions such as fibromyalgia. When suffering from myofascial trauma, the tissue sometimes tears or becomes adhered together, preventing the muscles from functioning properly.
Most massage therapists recognize myofascial sources of pain (knots) as problematic and many use the concept of trigger points in the body to help alleviate the musculoskeletal pain that occurs.
Trigger Point therapists also contend that to ignore the sources and causes of every day pain we experience could lead to a failure to pinpoint the problem area and to deal with the pain effectively. This is very easy to do when the referred pain is being felt in an area other than where is being caused.
Who Uses Trigger Point Therapy?
Osteopaths and chiropractors often use the compressing of trigger points to help in their healing practices. Dr. Janet Travell first used the term, “trigger points” to explain her clinical findings during the 1940s. She further discovered that pain experienced during pressure of the trigger points couldn’t be explained in neurological examinations of the patients.
Although the medical community rarely explains a condition as having a myofascial source, proponents of Trigger Point Therapy contend that most of the passive pain we experience on a day-to-day basis can be contributed to trigger points in myofascial regions of the body.