Trigger Point Therapy
Massage Therapy-the Key to Pain Relief
What is a Trigger Point?
A Trigger Point (TrP) is a hyperirritable spot, a palpable nodule in the taut bands of the skeletal muscles' fascia. that shortens the muscle, causing pain and range of motion issues.
Anatomy and Etiology
Trigger points develop in the myofascia, mainly in the center of a muscle belly where the motor endplate enters (primary or central TrP. Those are palpable nodules within the tight muscle at the size of 2-10 mm and can demonstrate at different places in any skeletal muscles of the body. We all have TrPs in the body. Can be present even in babies and children, but their presence does not necessarily result in the formation of pain syndrome. When it happens, TrPs are directly associated with myofascial pain syndrome*, somatic dysfunction, psychological disturbance and restricted daily functioning.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome refers to regional pain of soft tissue origin and is associated with muscle tenderness that arises from TrPs, focal points of tenderness, a few millimeters in diameter, found at multiple sites in a muscle and the fascia of muscle tissue.
Causes - Usually, TrPs happen due to:
Injury sustained by a fall, by stress or birth trauma.
Lack of exercise - commonly in sedentary persons between 27,5-55 years, of which 45% are men,
Bad posture - upper and lower crossed pattern, swayback posture, telephone posture, cross-legged sitting,
Muscle overuse and respective micro trauma - weightlifting,
Chronic stress condition - anxiety, depression, psychological stress trauma,
Vitamin deficiencies - vitamin C, D, B; folic acid; iron;
Joint problems and hypermobility
How can massage help?
The massage therapist will analyze the tissue to determine the location(s) of the trigger point(s) and will use a combination of techniques to shrink the trigger point (or put it into a dormant mode.) Then the therapist will apply techniques to increase circulation in the muscle and move the muscle to increase range of motion. The result is pain relief and freedom of movement to the affected area.
If the muscle is exposed to a perceived strain in the future the trigger point will reactivate to protect the tissue. Stretching throughout the day or after physical activity can assist in keeping the muscles long, limber and healthy.
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