Trigger point therapy is the release of trigger points often giving instant relief from aches and pains that may have been endured for years.
Persistent, recurring or continuing intermittent pains may be caused by active trigger points. Aches and pains are not an inevitable part of life.
Trigger points are key to much unexplained and misdiagnosed pain because many of them refer the pain to another location and mimic other symptoms. The pain in your neck may be caused by a trigger point in your shoulder, the pain between your eyes from one in your neck. These referral patterns are predictable and have been thoroughly researched and accurately mapped over the last thirty years.
A trigger point often feels like a knot in a muscle. In fact it is a contraction in a small part of the muscle. Blood flow is effectively reduced in the immediate area which results in oxygen starvation and the accumulation of waste products, irritating the trigger point. This responds by sending out pain signals until the brain determines to rest the muscle. The muscle begins to shorten and tighten up.
Muscles that have been shortened frequently squeeze nearby nerves. Two examples are Piriformis Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel symptoms. When trigger points in the piriformis muscle compress the sciatic nerve, they send shooting pains down the leg. This is sometimes misunderstood as a slipped disc or an impingement in the lumbar vertebrae. Carpal Tunnel symptoms can be caused by trigger points in the extensor muscles in the forearm, and sometimes in the scalene muscles of the neck.
Any one who has aches and pains for which they do not have a convincing diagnosis and effective treatments may be suffering from active trigger points. Because trigger points refer pain to other locations they are frequently overlooked and it is always worthwhile to get them checked out. Even if they are not the primary cause, they may be making a significant contribution to discomfort.
At the first appointment I will listen to your account of your pains to understand where and how you feel them, when they began and how they impinge on your life.
Then I will make an initial assessment of whether trigger points are playing a significant part in producing the pain. I will examine the muscles which may be responsible. This can be done through light clothing.
If they are playing a significant role, then we will begin a treatment plan. Trigger points can be released painlessly and we will aim to enable you to self treat, should they return. This may take two or three sessions if only a few muscles are involved. Sometimes a single treatment can clear up chronic pain. More complex cases involving many muscles may take longer but every session will see an advance towards pain-free living.
If trigger points are not playing a significant part, I can refer you to the appropriate health professional.
I have been practicing Trigger Point Therapy for seven years since relieving my own chronic back pain, which threatened my passion for single-handed sailing.
Over many years of struggling, I had seen many practitioners. All helped a little. However the pain would come back repeatedly and seemingly randomly. I would stoop to pick up a letter from the floor and for days I would be unable to move without excruciating spasms. It might take eight or nine weeks before I could move easily.
Occasionally, my back does still “go” but since discovering Trigger Point Therapy, I can be fairly mobile within the hour, moving easily and freely within two days.
I trained in Holistic and Deep Tissue Massage at the Devon Academy, and then studied Trigger Point Therapy through Jonathan Kuttner MD and Thomas Huhn.