Trigger Point Therapy is a touch based therapy which works by first locating areas of sensitivity, tenderness and tension built up in areas of the soft tissue, then applying focused pressure to those points to ‘release’ it. In doing so, circulation is increased to the area and healing takes place. Additional massage can be administered to the general area bringing further relief. Techniques are centered on areas of maximal tenderness in muscle tissue also known as taut bands. This method is effective for treatment of tender point in the band and “referred pain”.
A trigger point is simply a small contraction knot in a muscle. This knot can feel as big as a thumb. It maintains a hard contraction on the muscle fibres connected to it, thus causing a tight band that can also be felt in the muscle. The practitioner presses firmly on muscle Trigger points which causes the patient to experience slight to moderate pain and or discomfort. Trigger Points also send referred pain or tenderness to some other site, often quite far away. For instance a headache may not be caused by a problem in the head itself, but have been sent to the head from a Trigger Point on the side of the neck.
All of us develop tight bands in our muscles as we age, but some people are predisposed to have more than others. For example, a Trigger Point may develop following an acute muscular strain such as during a car accident, a fall, a sprain or fracture, or excessive or unusual exercise. Or following chronic overload of the muscles used to maintain posture because of poor sitting, working or sleeping habits, or by repetitive work tasks.