WHAT IS TRIGGER POINT THERAPY?
Trigger points are hypersensitive, painful, tense areas in the muscles and they are a major cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain. They may not be painful unless when direct pressure is applied. The basis for its name, “trigger point”, relates to one point triggering pain in another area. For example, headaches can be linked to trigger points found in the neck muscles, while leg pain may be related to trigger points in the low back area.
Therapy focuses on manipulation of the soft tissues to reduce pain and improve blood circulation around the trigger zones by stretching and applying pressure to relieve muscle tension or “knots”.
CAUSES OF TRIGGER POINTS AND WHO IS IT BENEFICIAL FOR?
The microscopic contraction in the muscle fibres shortens and forms a knot usually as a result of accidents, repetitive injuries, muscle overload, disuse or misuse of muscles or as a side effect of other physical conditions or illnesses.
Trigger point therapy can be very beneficial for those with:
- muscle injury from sports or accidents
- muscle tightness from sitting or standing for a sustained period
- repetitive strain injury from long term poor posture or poor work ergonomics
- Carpal Tunnel syndrome
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Manual trigger point therapy usually involves applying direct pressure to the affected muscles, fascia and connective tissues until the tautness releases. The idea is to deprive the trigger points of blood flow and when pressure is released, blood rushes back in, drawing nutrients to the area and subsequently promote healing. This may take any where from 30 seconds to a few minutes, depending on your condition. If the trigger point is very chronic, it make take multiple sessions to release.
Accurate treatment on the affected trigger points coupled with physiotherapy or chiropractic care can assist in achieving long-term results. Before treatment can be given, a detailed consultation and physical assessment will be done to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for treatment.