Believe it or not, shoulder and arm pain can be triggered by the condition of muscles in the neck, hand pain by a muscle under the shoulder blade, low back pain by abdominal muscles, headaches by neck and back muscles, etc. This is why rubbing the sore spot may feel good at the moment, but only helps temporarily. In contrast, trigger point therapy maps pain to its source, and involves finding and releasing small knots, known as trigger points, in specific muscles not necessarily at the site of pain. This simple treatment has been known to succeed where pills, shots and surgeries have failed.
What is Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger Point Therapy is safe and effective in alleviating myofascial (muscle) pain and syndromes that erroneously, or by default, become categorized under such headings as tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, dysmennorhea, TMJ, fibrositis, trick knee, whiplash, etc. Mainstream clinical research has shown that trigger points are often responsible for headaches, muscle weakness and pain, restricted range of motion, tearing, sweating, salivation, dizziness and blurred vision.
What is a Trigger Point?
Trigger Points are tender spots in muscles (and other types of tissue) that are extremely sensitive to touch and possess the nasty ability to refer pain and other symptoms and sensation to distant parts of the body. For instance, the all-too-common trigger points in the muscle between the neck and shoulder (the trapezius) often send pain shooting up back of the neck, around the ear and above the eye.
What causes Trigger Points?
Normal, healthy muscles contain no TPs. Muscles develop TPs following acute trauma, chilling or chronic overload. Acute trauma may consist of falls, car accidents, joint sprains, a direct blow to the muscle or abnormal excessive exercise, such as packing when moving or engaging in a strenuous bout of weekend athletics. A cold draft such as that from air conditioning or open window may activate latent TPs in tired muscles.
Trigger points also develop in muscles that are chronically overloaded by poor posture, especially while working, or repeating muscle movements as in typing, playing the violin, or even knitting. Structural discrepancies, like uneven legs and pelvic bones, or short arms on a long upper body, often produce a chronic mechanical stress that activates TPs.
How is a trigger point inactivated?
There are 3 method for putting trigger points to rest: 1) ultrasaund at low intensities 2 ) trigger point therapy or 3) ETPS electroacupunture. When the involved TPs are located and inactivated, the pain often disappears immediately. But with chronic cases involving TPs in several muscles over a long period of time, sustained relief usually requires successive treatments.
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