What exactly is a Trigger Point or, more technically called, Myofascial Trigger Points (TrP)? They are simply a firm, tangible, tender spot found in any given muscles with symptoms including deep, aching pain, numbness, inflammation and a loss of range of motion. Many people would equate these spots to knots. In my practice, I see these occur predominantly in the back/neck and Gluteal Muscles, but they can be found on any muscle in the body. These “knots” are also usually accompanied by referred pain. Referral Pain is pain that is felt elsewhere from where the source is. For example, if I was applying pressure to a tender Trigger Point in the Lower Back of a client, they may also feel that tender pain dwelling in their Hamstring.
Trigger Point Therapy has become very popular since it was first used in 1843. Dr. F. Froriep, a German Physician, found tender spots, which he named “muscle callouses” in the muscles of his patients. He discovered that treating these specific spots brought great relief. There has been a lot of research since, but the most recent and well-respected is from Janet G. Travell M.D. and David G. Simons M.D. Dr. Travell worked with terminally ill patients. She came to find that her patients complained more of and had more concerns with the pain instead of the serious illness that was being treated. She dedicated her practice to pain syndromes and alleviating patients’ specific pain.
Of course, there are several causes for these painful spots including:
- Over-training and/or improper form
- Muscle weakness
- Car Accidents
- Poor Diet
- Starting a new exercise program
- Trauma emotional and/or physical
- Lack of sleep/sleep disorders
Trigger Point Therapy is a very common request from my clients in Salt Lake City, Utah. Trigger Point session’s have considerable benefit for those experiencing muscle pain, there are several things you can expect from your session. First I always make sure to locate the exact area of the Trigger Point and then lengthen the muscle. Then I apply a tolerable amount of pressure and hold it until I feel the spot release. Next, I use a strumming motion to “strip-out” the knot, making sure to move in the direction of the fiber orientation. This elongates the muscle that has been shortened by the Trigger Point. I then strip the muscle going each direction towards its attachment sites. Once I am working on the attachment sites, I use fast-moving friction with my finger tips to break up the knotted area. It’s always a good idea to end a Trigger Point session with stretching the areas that were bound up. When it comes to pain felt in these bodywork sessions, I work with a 5-7 scale. On a scale of 1-10, if my client feels that their pain has reached an 8, I will pull back into a more comfortable 5-7 range. Of course, there will be some pain involved due to the fact that Trigger Points are very tender and irritable.
From my experience working at chiropractic offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have found that a combination of Deep Tissue and Trigger Point bodywork are most effective in releasing tight muscles. I work on a lot of auto-accident victims and high-performance athletes. These 2 cases seem to have the highest concentration of trigger points, but anyone can get them, and they can get them anywhere. If you have had deep tissue sessions that have not given you results, then you may want to try Trigger Point Therapy. Many of my clients love it and request it for every session. If you’re looking for trigger point therapy in Salt Lake City, Utah call me today at (801) 349-3934 and see if Trigger Point may be just what you need to relieve your fatigued muscles.