Trigger Point Therapy
Body Flow Massage
Back Pain, Remedial Massage, Massage Services
What is a Trigger Point and what can Trigger Point Therapy do for me ?
Due to misuse, abuse, overuse or injury of a muscle, a Trigger Point can form. As defined by Simons, Travel & Simons, 1999 pp 1-10, a Trigger Point is:
"A hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive, palpable nodule in a taut band."
Put simply, it's a tender spot in or at the junction of a muscle or tendon that, when touched or compressed, will feel like a hardened node or taut band. Changes in skin temperature, texture and moisture over the affected area can also be present.
The sufferer can feel muscular pain, weakness and reduced mobility at the associated joint. Pain can be felt either locally or away from the affected area. If left untreated, secondary or satellite trigger points may also form.
So what can be done about it ?
Excellent question ! :D Trigger Point Therapy can help, using a series of techniques specifically designed to release Trigger Points and their associated maladies.
It does this by aiming to:
deactivate myofacial Trigger Points
prepare for other therapeutic modalities such as exercise or manipulation
relax and normalise tense fibrotic muscle tissue
enhance lymphatic and general circulation drainage
offer the therapist diagnostic information
What's involved ?
Glad you asked ! :D First the Trigger Points must be found in order to be treated.
Generally, the therapist will slowly 'strip' through an area using thumbs, forearms, elbows or fingers until a tender area is reached. The therapist will then use a compression technique, followed by a stretching technique to release the tension in the muscle or tendon.
What are the benefits ?
The result is generally relief from muscular pain and tension and any referral pain that was being caused by the Trigger Point. Increased joint mobility, increased muscle length & strength and reduced likelihood of future injuries are also benefits.
Why stretch ?
A muscle has a certain ideal resting length. If a muscle becomes too tight/short through overuse for example, it will start to affect the surrounding tissue, ie, tendons, attachment sites, joints, nerves and other soft tissue such as blood vessels.
Stretching muscles helps to return them to their ideal resting length, therefore decreasing the likelihood of injury and ensuring optimum function.
Passive and Active Stretching
Your therapist can perform 'passive' stretching for you whilst you're on the massage table and also show you basic 'active' stretches that you can do yourself. So any time you start to get a niggle from a problem area, you can stretch the muscle group and stay as comfortable as possible.
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