Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are described as hypersensitive, taut bands of fibers found in skeletal muscle tissue. When compression, or strain is applied to a trigger point they can produce localized pain, referral sensations of pain, numbness/tingling, burning into adjacent areas of the body. Acute, or chronic stress on muscle fibers may lead to the development of trigger points. Trigger point therapy can cause, pain-local or referred, decreased range of motion, stiffness, discomfort and are associated with many musculoskelatal disorders.
Treatment of trigger points can be carried out in a variety of ways. A massage therapist will typically use manual therapies. Applying sustained compression to the trigger point and waiting for a release is the most common approach. Pin and Stretch techniques, where pressure is applied to the muscle belly or attachment sites, and the muscle is then actively, or passively stretched through its range of motion in order to elongate the area of constantly contracted tissue. Myofascial release is also a beneficial approach, working with the muscle fascia that surrounds the trigger point can help prevent the muscle tissue from reverting back to the original position, and trigger points may re-develop.
Make sure to receive treatment from a massage therapist skilled in trigger point therapy. Experiencing pain, or discomfort in the areas treated for 1-3 days after the massage is common, and it is important to stretch the areas after treatment to avoid them returning to their previous state.