“A Trigger point is a collection of muscle cells that are in a continuous state of full contraction. They are commonly referred to as a “muscle knot”. The more technical definition describes a Trigger Point as “a hyper-irritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. This spot is painful upon compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, referred tenderness, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena.”
Travell & Simons; Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, The Trigger Point Manual; 1999, pg.5
What Causes Trigger Points?
Trigger points have several causes. Some common causes are:
- poor posture
- overuse injuries
- trauma (motor vehicle accidents)
What is the Purpose of Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger point therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. Your therapist will manually re-educate the muscles into pain-free motions. After several treatments by an RMT, the swelling and stiffness of neuromuscular pain is reduced, range of motion is increased, tension is relieved, and circulation, flexibility and coordination are improved.
What to expect out of a treatment
Pressure on a muscle knot should generally be clear and strong and satisfying; it should have a relieving, welcome quality. This is “good pain”.
Pressure is applied to the trigger point to “release” it. The applied pressure may reproduce the discomfort that youʼve been feeling that has caused you to seek treatment in the first place. By releasing the trigger point the pain associated with it will be gone or greatly diminished. If you released a trigger point, you will notice a distinct reduction in symptoms over the next several hours. It usually takes 2-3 sessions in close proximity to see great results.