What is a Trigger Point?
In the simple terms it is a knot in the muscle,that can create a lot of pain,weakening of the muscles,dysfunctional movement and referring pain.
When you can't move properly,your body begins to compensate trying to self correct itself so you can move right.With this happening,other muscle groups take over and with time they get tight and stiff.
Trigger Points are rarely located at the point of pain.The area of pain is NOT the same as the SOURCE of pain.
Types of Trigger Points
ACTIVE-currently causing pain
LATENT-dormant points, causing disfunction to muscle,joint and movement but not painful until you apply pressure to the area
SATELLITE-they form in reaction to other points,develop in the pain referral zone of the active TP's
Why we get TP's?
*Acute trauma (car,sport accidents)
*Repetitive microtrauma(work or lifestyle related injuries)
*Postural strain from standing or sitting improperly for long periods of time (computer, TV)
*Nutritional deficiencies,inflamation,toxins in the environment
Why TP's cause trouble?
Your bodies reaction to trauma is to protect itself.It happens by the body altering the way you move,stand or sit,which puts abnormal stress on your soft tissues (muscles,tendons,ligaments)and joints.
This causes imbalances and postural dysfunctions in your body.
Your blood flow can become restricted and by that your Peripheral and Central Nervous System will start to send out those Reffered Pain signals.
Beside muscular pain like:low back pain,neck pain,jaw pain,headaches and sciatica,TP's can produce symptoms of earaches,toothache,sinusitis,nausea,diziness and heartburn.
How to treat TP's?
DEEP STROKING MASSAGE
Often we treat TP's with static pressure to the area for a specific lenght of time.
This can sometimes be intolerable to the patient,feeling ,it is too painful and too aggressive.
Alternative approach is deep stroking massage,using a series of slow,deep strokes directly to the Trigger Point.
Deep stroking is usually less irritating,less pain inflicted on the patient and easier for the therapist.
Compressing the TP should be a squeegee effect,repeated milking action to properly move the blood and lymph fluid out.
The idea of Deep Tissue Massage is to work slowly.Every time the pressure of the therapist is released ,fresh blood flows into the area to bring a renewing charge of oxygen and nutrients.
Another benefit of Deep Stroking Massage is to help stretch the muscle fibers within the Trigger Point area.
To gain maximum benefits,it should be enough pressure to make it hurt a little ,but should feel like a good hurt.
Deep Tissue Massage may cause tenderness in the treated area that will be felt for 2-3 days.
Application of Deep Moist Heat (for 15-20 minutes) and gentle stretches of the area later that day will bring a great relief to the symptoms.