September 11, 2009

Trigger Point Massage Therapy

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Also referred to as myofascial trigger point therapy, trigger point therapy is a technique of bodywork which involves the exertion of pressure on tender and delicate muscle tissues to relieve pain and certain ailments of the body. This technique was invented by Dr. Janet Travel.

Trigger points can be describes as areas of muscles that are tender and soft. Trigger points may also be referred to as muscle knots. There are two kinds of trigger points which can be elaborated as follows:

  • Active Trigger Points: Active trigger points cause pain in muscles and refer pain and tenderness to other areas of the body on application of pressure.

  • Passive Trigger Points: Latent trigger points show pain only when compressed and these points do not refer pain to other areas of the body as is the case with active trigger points. Latent trigger points are supposedly the cause of stiffness in joints and restricted motion in old age.

Trigger points are different from acupressure points which are energy concentrations. Trigger points are tender muscle tissues, which are tangible to touch. There can be various causes of trigger points which include birth trauma, poor posture, excessive exertion, an injury, or some other reasons.

The symptoms of myofascial trigger points or simply trigger points include myofascial tenderness and pain. These trigger points are diagnosed by examining signs, symptoms, and pain patterns of the ailment.

The myofascial trigger point treatment may be manual or performed by a trained therapist. There can be various techniques to cure these painful trigger points. Various trigger point therapies include ischemic compression, myotherapy, dry needling, low level laser therapy, tapotement, and many more.

Trigger point therapy can also be used as a home remedy to cure these triggers points. The person who performs trigger point therapy must have sufficient training and knowledge of the areas to be treated, especially with regard to muscular-skeletal system, glands, nerves, and vessels.

There are certain limitations to trigger point therapy. It may cause damage to soft muscle tissues and other organs. For example, the trigger points in the upper quadrates lumborum, a muscle that is irregular in shape and broader above than below are quite close to the kidneys and a poorly performed treatment may result in permanent damage to the kidneys. As such, although the therapy is extremely helpful in treating muscular pain, it has its own limitations.

It is advisable to use Trigger point therapy as home remedy only when you are trained in it.