A trigger point is a tight area or knot in your muscle that causes pain in other parts of your body. The most common sites of trigger points are the neck, shoulders, back and hips. The referral pain they produce can travel all around, causing sharp and intense pain or a dull ache, and making you feel uncomfortable and worn down. Tender to touch, and impacting your movement, trigger points need to be dealt with by an experienced and qualified physical therapist through trigger point therapy.
This therapy is not recommended for everyone, so let's delve further into what it is and how it works to give you more insight into your options.
How Trigger Point Therapy Works
There are two types of trigger points: active and latent. An active trigger point causes ongoing pain around the knot and other parts of the body, as mentioned above. It is painful to move, and you find very little relief whether the area is touched or not. Whereas a latent trigger point is not as painful all the time, but when pressure is applied to the area it will hurt.
In the first part of trigger point therapy your physical therapist will identify which type of trigger point you have. This is done by careful palpation of the muscle from its origin to its insertion, feeling for tight bands or nodules that may be applying pressure to the tender points to see if these areas provoke any pain. A local twitch response is also conducted, which is a very fast contraction of the muscle tissue. If this twitch also reproduces pain, then you have likely found your source of the symptoms.
The Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy
Once your trigger point has been established by your physical therapist, you can start working on alleviating the pain. Depending on what type of pain you are experiencing and its carry-on effects, most patients reap the following benefits from trigger point therapy sessions:
- a decrease in headaches
- improved flexibility and mobility
- improved posture
- significant decrease in overall pain
Get Expert Advice from Our Sports and Remedial Massage Clinic
While the benefits of trigger point therapy are aplenty, this form of treatment is not for everyone. You may be experiencing pain from another type of issue that would be best suited to dry needling therapy or even remedial massage. To know for sure, please reach out to our team at Christopher's Remedial Massage and we can discuss your concerns and find the best solution for your body.