24 May Trigger Point Therapy 101
Massage therapy and chiropractic care work hand in hand. At some point or another, you will likely experience body pain. Aches, pains, knots, and trigger points are ailments you do not have to live with, thanks to trigger point therapy.
What is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point is a tense area in your muscles that may be causing pain in one or more parts of your body. Trigger points can cause referral (also called “reflective”) pain. Referred pain is pain felt in one area but the pain origin is in a different area. The body is full of interconnected sensory nerves. If there’s an injury in one place in the network, the pain can be felt and perceived by the brain in a different area. For example, an irritated trigger point in your back could be causing pain in your neck. The pain in these areas can be tingly or numb, it can be sharp, intense pains or even a dull, nagging pain. A trigger point can have a domino effect causing referral pain in multiple places.
Trigger Point Massage Therapy and How it Works
Trigger point massage therapy is designed to alleviate the pains felt from trigger points. Trigger point therapy, also known as myofascial trigger point therapy, locates and manipulates irritated trigger points in order to relieve pain and “deactivate” them. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, these knots or trigger points will go away by themselves. But more often than not, proper and professional care is needed in order to reduce pain and relax tense muscles.
Once your trigger point massage therapist has located the exact area(s) of the trigger point(s), they will apply a variety of techniques with different amounts of pressure on and around the knot. Breaking down the trigger point is typically very uncomfortable for patients because of the applied direct pressure. Depending on the size and amount of trigger points, multiple visits may be required to ensure that all triggers points are deactivated.
Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy
While these treatments can be painful, patients often feel that the benefits of trigger point therapy outweigh the cons. Untreated trigger points will likely cause more pain which can affect other areas of your life like good posture, the ability to complete everyday tasks, or walk, stand, or sit comfortably. Because trigger point therapy isolates very specific areas on your body, you will see results faster and they’ll last longer. Some experience reduced pain after just one treatment, while others require regular treatments to manage their pain.
Like any massage therapy session, it is important to stay hydrated after your trigger point massage. Toxins in trigger points will build up over time. When they are broken down, like in trigger point therapy, they are released into the bloodstream and need to be flushed out. To help aid in the removal of toxins and muscle tenderness, an Epsom salt bath may be recommended.
Call Spinal Rehab of North County today to learn more about trigger point therapy and to see if you are a good candidate for this treatment.