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Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger Point Therapy, often referred to as trigger point massage or myofascial trigger point therapy, is a specialized form of massage therapy that focuses on identifying and releasing trigger points in muscle tissue. Trigger points are hyperirritable knots or areas of tight muscle fibers that can be painful and are often associated with muscle tension and discomfort. They can develop due to a variety of factors, including muscle overuse, stress, injury, or poor posture.

Here’s how Trigger Point Therapy massage typically works:

  1. Assessment: The massage therapist begins by assessing the client’s muscle tissue to locate trigger points. This may involve applying pressure to various areas of the body to identify areas of tension, pain, or muscle knots.
  2. Focused Pressure: Once trigger points are identified, the therapist uses precise and focused pressure techniques to apply pressure directly to these points. The pressure is often sustained and can be deep, but it should be within the client’s comfort level.
  3. Release: The goal of the therapy is to release the trigger points, which can help relax the muscle and alleviate pain. This is often achieved through a combination of pressure and stretching techniques.
  4. Pain Relief: Trigger Point Therapy aims to provide pain relief and improve range of motion by targeting specific areas of discomfort and tension.
  5. Referred Pain: Trigger points can sometimes cause referred pain, where pain is felt in a different part of the body than where the trigger point is located. Effective treatment of the trigger point can help alleviate both the local and referred pain.

Trigger Point Therapy is commonly used to address various musculoskeletal issues, including chronic pain, muscle stiffness, tension headaches, and conditions like fibromyalgia. It is considered a therapeutic technique and is often incorporated into a broader treatment plan for pain management and rehabilitation.

It’s important to receive Trigger Point Therapy from a licensed and experienced massage therapist who has a thorough understanding of the musculoskeletal system and trigger point locations. The therapy can sometimes be uncomfortable, as it involves pressure on tender points, but it should not be excessively painful. Clients should communicate their comfort level and any sensations they experience during the session to the therapist.

I’m very familiar with the myofascial trigger point pain referral charts created by Travell & Simons. In my treatment room, I have a chart on the wall that I can use to explain the patterns of referred pain to you. – Randy

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