Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger Point Therapy is also known, in medical terms, as myotherapy or muscle therapy. Trigger points are highly irritable spots in the muscle, and contribute critically to pain. Trigger points are found in muscles that have been “injured” or “damaged”. The damage can begin even before birth while the baby is still in the womb. Trigger points are laid down in muscles all through life. Any of a number of things: a fall, blow, knock, or sprain, for example, can injure the muscles. Opportunities present themselves constantly. 

Trigger points can lie quietly in muscles, often for years, but when the climate is right, usually under physical or emotional stress, they seem to fire. It is this firing that throws the muscle into a spasm. This causes pain, and the autonomic nervous system handles this pain by sending more spasm to the affected area to protect it against the injury.

When the spasm sent by the nervous system reaches the designated area, it further tightens the spasm already present. Your reaction is, “that hurts!” Another pain message shoots back to headquarters predictably by yet more spasm. This phenomenon is a feedback loop known as “splinting.” A spasm-pain-spasm cycle is in effect, and until it is broken the pain will continue unabated, and as the pain continues, so will the splinting. This shortens the muscles and holds them in a foreshortened condition, which not only causes pain but also interferes with function, posture, and balance. If the cycle is maintained long enough, the muscles may remain permanently shortened.

There are numerous ways to break the spasm-pain-spasm cycle, such as analgesics like aspirin, or something stronger, such as codeine, for example. Counterirritants, such as liniments, are a classic remedy or muscle relaxers. Heat, both moist and dry, is tried, as are cold, rest, injections, and so on. When one of these works, the sufferer is apt to think, “Thank goodness that’s over.” But it isn’t over. The trigger point has simply temporarily paused to await another day, and that day will inevitably come.

Trigger point therapy is a method of probing the muscle until a trigger point is found, and then applying pressure until the trigger point releases. This is usually done throughout the belly of the muscle.

Trigger point therapy is known to help a range of problems, including but not limited to the following:

• Chronic Neck and Back Pain
• Shoulder Pain
• Muscle Cramps
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Fibromyalgia
• Kyphosis (extreme round back)
• Shin splints
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome