Trigger Point Massage

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How can Trigger Point Massage help you?

Trigger Point Massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse. Simply put, the therapist locates and deactivates Trigger Points. Trigger Points can be implicated in a wide range of common conditions such as:

  • Chronic Pain – especially in the Back or Neck
  • Low Back Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Plantar Fasciitis 
  • Tendonitis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Sports Injuries
  • Post-Operative Pain (The Massage Source)
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Trigger Point Massage, also known as Myofascial Release, Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy, or Neuromuscular Therapy, is a deep massage in which fingers are used to knead individual muscles, increase blood flow, and release “Trigger Points”. Neuromuscular massage is applied to neural reflex and Trigger Points, like those of Shiatsu and Acupressure, to release the Trigger Points and control pain and reduce neuromuscular spasms.

A Massage Therapist uses referral patterns of the Trigger Points to follow your point of pain back to the originating muscle, locate the Trigger Point in that muscle, and apply direct pressure to release the spasms. (American Massage Therapy Association)

Trigger Points are traditionally thought to be tiny muscle knots or connective tissue adhesions that cause the sore spots you may feel when you press on certain areas of your body. These knots in the muscle fiber and tissue may cause referral pain in other, more distant parts of the body.

These referral patterns of sensation include sensations such as sharp pain, dull ache, tingling, pins and needles, hot or cold, as well as symptoms such as nausea, ear ache, equilibrium disturbance, and/or blurred vision. These small, hyper-irritable sites in the muscle tissue often refer pain to other locations causing conditions such as headaches or sciatica. Trigger Point releases are typically done as part of a massage therapy treatment and are accompanied by stretching and massage. (Massage Canada)

Trigger Point Therapy/ Myofascial Release, simply put, is a method of Massage in which the Therapist locates and deactivates Trigger Points. This Therapy affects your muscles and connective tissues layers and deeper ligament structures. 

Applying these release techniques is very similar to Acupressure. The term Myofascial Release appeared first in medical literature by Janet G. Travell M.D. in the 1940s, referring to musculoskeletal pain and Trigger Points. In 1976, Janet started using the terminology, “Myofascial Trigger Point” and, in 1983, published the famous reference “Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual”.

Trigger Point Massage treatment begins with a physical examination with a focus on the area of pain and discomfort by observing movements and posture, along with areas of muscle shortening, weakness, and decreased movement. Manual Massage techniques are used for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, muscles, and bone.

Trigger Points can be felt in amongst normal muscle tissue. Once a Trigger Point is located, the local twitch response can be elicited as muscle or skin twitching. You might feel a sour (light electric-like) sensation or numb, but not knife-cut like pain when the Trigger Point is pressed and released. This is a pain-relief technique to alleviate muscle spasms and cramping, and can be done on a massage table, with or without oils. (Massage Canada) 

Trigger Point Therapy is a form of manual therapy that focuses on on detecting and releasing Trigger Points. Located in the skeletal muscle, Trigger Points are spots that produce pain when compressed. In many cases, Trigger Points form as a result of trauma to muscle fibers.

Typically used to treat pain-related conditions, Trigger Point Therapy is sometimes referred to as Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy or Neuromuscular Therapy. A number of techniques can be used to release Trigger Points, including Massage Therapy, Chiropractic care, and Dry Needling. (Dry Needling is a technique that involves inserting a needle, without medication or injection, into trigger points. It is different from Acupuncture in that Acupuncture is focused on improving the flow of chi in the body, whereas Dry Needling is primarily about Myofascial Release.)

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