What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a ‘troubled knot’ in a muscle which can be as small as the head of a pin or a big as a kiwi fruit. These areas are sticky points where the muscle fibres get clogged up and twisted so are no longer able to function properly. Blood flow to the area becomes restricted, and toxins remain trapped within them. This can be a common cause of musculoskeletal pain. A trigger point can refer locally to the area causing pain, such as between the shoulder blades. However, what makes it unique is that it can also refer to an area causing pain from another location.
The presence of trigger points in muscle can cause pain in different ways, from dull aches, to numbness and tingling and even nerve type stabbing, sharp pains.
Who discovered trigger points?
Trigger points were developed by Dr Janet Travell, who was a pioneer of the technique in the 1960’s after working as John F Kennedy’s physician. She wrote the widely recognised; Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, a two volume manual detailing all her findings with regards typical trigger point areas in each major muscle in the human body.
How is a trigger point treated and will it hurt?
A trigger point is treated with static pressure for a period of time until the trigger point releases. Typically, this release might feel like the pain has reduced, the muscle ‘melts’ or the point has moved.
Trigger points need to be treated with the utmost respect! They can vary in intensity with the discomfort they present, and it is not necessary for you as a client to be at an intolerable pain level during your treatment. This can in fact be counterproductive, as other muscles could become tense and further complicate the problem. My aim is to mimic your current pain pattern by locating the trigger points, and even if they only feel like a 2 out of 10, if they refer to the area where your condition is affecting you, then the work will be equally effective as if it were a 10 out of 10. When I work with trigger points, I always work with your pain threshold level as everyone varies with the amount of pressure they can tolerate on these often sensitive points.
Is this an instant fix for my problem?
Massage is never a quick fix regardless of the treatment, and there are of course no guarantees. What I hope to achieve is to make a positive change to your condition. There are occasions when one treatment may sort out your problem completely, but this would be an unreasonable expectation in most cases. I would usually suggest a course of treatments to make a noticeable change to your condition.
Can this type of treatment help me?
This type of treatment is not suitable for everyone, and I may need your doctor or specialist’s consent before treatment can start. As with all treatments, depending on various factors including the condition itself, progress may be slow, and in some cases further investigation or referral to another practitioner may be required.
If you would like to find out more about whether Trigger Point Therapy could help you, then please feel free to contact me on 07743 897874 for a confidential discussion, or submit your enquiry via the Contact Details page. If you would like further information about the other types of treatment available, then please visit the Remedial Massage page.