Trigger Point Therapy
What is Trigger Point Therapy?
A trigger point (TP’s) is simply a small contraction knot in the muscle. These nodules can be as small as a pinhead or as big as a thumb, and are a common cause of local pain and sometimes distant referred pain. TPs may cause numbness, tingling, weakness, or lack of normal range of movement. TP’s can also cause earaches, dizziness, sinus congestion, nausea, heartburn, and false heart pain.
The compression of a trigger point may elicit a local twitch response. These trigger points in muscles and in the thin wrapping around each muscle [called fascia] are called myofascial trigger points, to distinguish them from trigger points which can occur in other soft tissues such as skin, ligaments, and tendons, and also in scar tissue.
Trigger point practitioners can use various methods to eliminate Trigger points. These can be static finger pressure, specific trigger point massage, Dry Needling with acupuncture needles, Cupping, use of a cold spray or cold pack whilst activating or stretching the muscle. Self-treatment of TP’s 6 to 12 times a day with deep breathe and consciously relax between each cycle will speed up your recovery and help you get rid of your own pain.
It is important to realize that the TPs themselves do not hurt, [other than when you are actually pressing firmly on them.] Most patients are surprised when I locate a very painful tight spot in a muscle well away from where they tell me their pain is. They were usually completely unaware that this painful tight spot even existed, let alone that such a small spot could be the cause of all their pain.
Unfortunately, many general practitioners and orthopedic surgeons do not know about TP’s, and as TP’s do not show on X-rays or scans, the patient may be told there is nothing wrong with them or that there is nothing that can be done to help fix their pain.