A trigger point is a localised area of deep tenderness and increased resistance in skeletal muscle. Pressure on the point will usually produce twitching due to pain and sensitivity in the area, which at times can be quite severe. They are usually found in a taught band of muscle that restricts movement and flexibility.
If you run your finger or thumb over a muscle containing a trigger point, it can usually be felt as a small, hard area of tension. Where more than one trigger point is located in the same band of muscle, they may be felt as a “twangy” band that is tender or painful when pressed.
Trigger points are associated with a variety of problems, such as:
• Tight or weak muscles
• Stiff joints
• Joint pain
• Muscle pain
They have also been associated with headaches, dizziness and sinus problems.
How are Trigger points treated?
Massage, dry needling, anaesthetic injection and cryostretching can reduce the sensitivity of trigger points and the associated pain. I use massage and STR (Soft Tissue Release), a form of stretching that can be incorporated into massage or as a stand alone technique. The trigger point is first identified and then “locked” by pressing into it and then maintaining the pressure, the muscle is stretched.
Clients report that the pain starts to “dissolve” whilst pressure is applied; ultimately, this allows the therapist to get deeper and treat any trigger points in the deeper muscles. The area should then be massaged to soothe and prevent the likelihood of soreness and bruising. I have found this to be a very effective treatment for clients with chronic pain and stiffness.
If you think this could help you, contact me and we can have a chat.