What is Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger Point Therapy uses a firm sustained pressure to relieve painful knots called trigger points (TP’s). Unlike other tender knots, trigger points have four specific characteristics.
- TP’s are tender nodules found within a taut band of muscle.
- TP’s send a pain signal, called a referral, to a distant or surrounding area.
- When pressed, the muscle that has a trigger point twitches.
- The pain does not originate from apparent trauma, infection, or neurological problems.
Sometimes, when active, the TP causes constant referral pain. When latent, the referral area only feels painful when one presses on the TP.
Firm pressure treatment
To apply Trigger Point Therapy, the massage therapist locates the knot, presses on it with a firm pressure, and holds it for several seconds. The therapist may repeat this if the initial pressure does not relieve the pain. Once the knot softens, and the pain lessens, the therapist may stretch the muscle to restore the proper length to the muscle fiber.
Your therapist may apply Trigger Point Therapy if you have a baffling muscular pain that doesn’t seem related to injury. Especially if you have tender knots and/or a feeling of weakness in the muscle. They may ask you to look at pain patterns with them to see if any look familiar prior to starting your session. Definitely if you have Myofascial Pain Syndrome, which involves multiple trigger points throughout the body.
A widely respected text in the massage industry written by a pair of doctors, maps all of the muscles in the body along with common trigger points and their referral patterns. Although therapists jokingly call the this manual “the Massage Bible,” controversy surrounds the soundness of the material. In practice however, this style of massage has helped many people find muscular pain relief.
At Nimbus Massage, the therapists may check for trigger points in clients who have headaches, neck pain, back pain, hip pain, TMJ Dysfunction, or pain in the extremities. For clients who don’t like firm pressure, the massage therapist can adjust the technique to make it more gentle. We often blend these techniques into a Massage for Chronic Pain or a Massage for Aches and Pains.