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What is Trigger Point Therapy and How Does it Work?

Trigger Point Therapy is a type of massage therapy that focuses on releasing muscle knots or trigger points. It has been used to treat pain for years and can be done in conjunction with other treatments like acupuncture. This article will go over what Trigger Point Therapy is and how it works, and some of the benefits you may experience from receiving Trigger Point Therapy treatments.

What Is Trigger Point Therapy and How Does It Work?

Therapist Performing Trigger Point Therapy on a Patient, Targeting Specific Muscle Knots for Pain Relief

Trigger Point Therapy is a type of massage therapy that focuses on releasing muscle knots or trigger points. Trigger Points are small areas in muscles that cause pain and restrictions to mobility when they contract. When an expert therapist presses these knots, they can be released effectively through stretching and compression techniques to relieve tension.

Some people feel immediate relief after having a treatment done for their painful triggers during a session with an experienced therapist. In contrast, others need more than one before feeling any effects at all. Some of the benefits may include:

  • A reduction in chronic pain and improved quality of life, depending on the severity;
  • An increased range of motion with subsequent increase in strength to promote better balance and posture;
  • Less tension overall, which can lead to a decreased risk for heart disease.

What Is A Muscle Knot?

Their scientific term often refers to muscle knots: "trigger points," which are focal areas within muscles that send out intense sensations if irritated (such as pain). Our body gets tense all over; this tension causes small but forceful contractions in various parts of our muscles, including the trigger points.

If we have a tight muscle that needs relaxation, the trigger point has lost its ability to contract and relax due to this constant tension, leading to an increased intensity of pain when pressure is applied or acquired by simple movement.

Trigger Points are not limited only to muscles, though; they may also refer specifically to "migraine spots" because 90% of people with migraines experience them on their head (they can be found anywhere throughout your body). 

In addition, trigger points will usually worsen if you apply pressure or irritate the area further, such as through massage therapy or stretching exercises, making it even more difficult for someone who suffers from chronic migraines.

The two main types of triggers are active and latent. Active trigger points are painful and can be activated by applying pressure or movement to the area. In contrast, latent ones have no pain associated with them but can become active when used.

Trigger point therapy often uses a sustained compression of specific muscles to relieve tension through exercise, eventually relaxing tight, knotted muscle fibers. Several techniques may be used during this type of treatment, including deep tissue massage, gentle stretching exercises, dry needling (which involves piercing targeted areas with needles), and myofascial release (exercises for releasing muscular fascia).

In general, though, you want your therapist to work on activating nerve endings, so they send signals along their pathways leading up towards the brain and down to the muscles.

Migraine headaches are often treated with trigger point therapy to relieve muscle tension, causing some of the pain or discomfort experienced during a migraine attack.

Trigger Point Therapy is a prevalent type of treatment, but it can take up to 12 sessions for any relief, depending on how severe your symptoms are at this time and what technique they use. This means that you will not experience instant results after one session! Be patient and give them enough time so they can work out all those knots in your body before moving onto something else if necessary.

If you are experiencing any muscle or joint pain interfering with your daily activities, consider giving Trigger Point Therapy a try! It's non-invasive, inexpensive (most often covered by insurance), doesn't require anesthesia, takes less than an hour per session, and has no long-term adverse effects. In addition, you have nothing to lose but your trigger points.

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Zachary Langgle of Prime Health and Wellness in Downers Grove, IL, or visit this website to give you a thorough understanding of how this treatment works for your distinctive needs. 

Why Do Muscles Hurt In The First Place?

Illustration Demonstrating Various Factors Leading to Muscle Pain, Including Overuse, Injury, and Tension

Muscles are made up of fibers that, when healthy and strong, glide over each other to create a powerful contraction. However, if the muscle is tight or injured, it can't contract properly, which causes pain in the region where they attach to your bone.

Trigger points form when these contracted muscles keep tensing around one spot for too long - this creates an irritated area like a knot on a rubber band. These knots become chronic triggers because they restrict blood flow and make your body feel sorer than it should be from everyday activity.

Trigger points also interfere with how you move -- think about what happens to someone trying to run but has bad knees! They may have trouble getting out of bed or sitting at their desk due to the pain caused by these muscle knots.

The obvious solutions are massage, stretching, and exercise, but that's not enough for many patients. The body has a fantastic ability to heal itself, which is why trigger point therapy can be so effective - it gets your muscles back on track with a deep release of pressure from those tough spots. You'll notice relief in as little as one treatment.

What Is Trigger Point Therapy All About? 

There are tiny areas called "trigger points" found throughout our bodies where tight or injured muscles restrict blood flow and cause tension in nearby, healthy parts of the body. These trigger points develop when there is a sudden trauma, repetitive strain injury, and prolonged muscular stress.

When trigger points are pressed, the muscle will release tension which can cause intense pain in the area of that tightness or spasm to dissipate for a few seconds. The release may also create tingling or burning sensations as blood flow returns to normal levels within the muscles.

Many people might think they have "trigger point therapy" because someone has rubbed their shoulders- but this isn't necessarily true. To be effective restoration through pressure on these hidden areas, you need specialized training in many modalities like Acupuncture, Massage Therapy (dry-needling), and Chiropractic Care that deal with muscle tissue.

Trigger Point Therapy is most often used for chronic pain and can be done in a doctor's office, clinic, or physical therapy session. Some people may find relief through self-treatment, like having access to a foam roller at home. 

However, this won't always work as it takes someone who knows what they're doing - knowing the exact location of these tight points - to release the tension on all sides simultaneously so blood flow can return to normal levels within the muscles.

When trigger point therapy is applied by an expert and an appropriate technique is used, there are usually no side effects or long-term repercussions from treatment sessions besides feeling better afterward. Chiropractic care, massage therapist, and acupuncturist are all trained to provide this type of therapy.

Where Can You Get Trigger Point Therapy If You Need It?

Map Indicating Locations of Facilities Offering Trigger Point Therapy, Highlighting Accessibility and Variety of Providers

There is a lot of debate about who can provide trigger point therapy and how it should be done. Some physiotherapists or massage therapists may have the training, but not all do. In some states, physical therapists are allowed to perform trigger-point injections with specific qualifications.

Massage therapists also vary in their abilities and expertise in performing manual treatment for myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) -- like trigger points—despite that many people seek out this type of service specifically because they are trained in MPS techniques.

Finally, there is no national certification process available for either group or any government regulation on what therapies need to be included under each license classification; therefore, skills required by practitioners will depend on the state.

Above all these practitioners, a chiropractor can offer many different types of treatment that can also be used to relieve pain, including trigger point therapy.

Chiropractic care is an ideal type of treatment for pain relief, and chiropractors are often trained in trigger point therapy.

  • Who Is A Good Candidate For This Treatment?

A good candidate for this treatment is anyone who has experienced chronic muscle tension, pain, or tightness. Common injuries seen in patients who can be helped with trigger point therapy are back and neck pains, shoulder impingement syndrome (pain from an injury to the trapezius), tennis elbow, and plantar fasciitis (pain on the arch of the foot), just to name a few.

Are There Side Effects And Risks With The treatment?

Illustration Highlighting Potential Side Effects and Risks Associated with Specific Medical Treatments

Side effects are rare and due to the method but will depend on the individual patient. Pain in other areas of the body is not unheard of when performing trigger point therapy. However, this would only be temporary.

The risks with this treatment include pain in other muscles or joints which can persist after releasing a muscle knot (this usually resolves within 24 hours).

There is also some concern about potential nerve damage if pressure is applied too long at one spot, so it's always important to carefully follow your therapist's instructions during these treatments.

  • What Should I Know Before Coming In?

Trigger Point Therapy should never be used as an alternative for medical advice from a trained professional; consult with your doctor before coming in for any physical treatment.

Common Misconception About Trigger Point Therapy?

Graphic Debunking Myths and Clarifying Common Misunderstandings About Trigger Point Therapy

The most common misconception about trigger point therapy is that it can be used as a pain reliever, which it cannot. Trigger Point Therapy will not affect your senses or change the way you feel and function throughout the day but should only be used to help release the pain caused by muscle knots for healing.

Common misconceptions also include thinking this treatment is like a massage. At the same time, there are similarities, such as pressure being applied at various points of the body; they differ significantly with how deep each therapist goes into muscles during an individual session.

Trigger Point Therapists work intensely inside muscles to find these knots and put pressure on them until relief is felt because traditional massage therapists use techniques more superficial than those found here. 

Additionally, massage therapists are trained to work on all body parts and use hot oils, which Trigger Point Therapists do not.

Some people think that if they don't feel pain during treatment, then it is ineffective; this isn't always true because many times when we release these muscle knots, we will have some relief but still be unaware that there was an issue in the first place. You may even be feeling discomfort at one spot. 

At the same time, your therapist continues working elsewhere. This could be due to a long history with different areas being more sensitive over time or repetitive movements such as sitting at the computer for hours every day without giving yourself breaks/resting periods.

Trigger point therapy can help alleviate this by releasing any tightness before it becomes a chronic issue.

Final Words

Reflective Image Summarizing Key Points of the Article, Emphasizing Conclusion and Takeaways

Trigger Point Therapy is not like traditional massage therapy, and if you are looking for something that will put you in a relaxed state, this treatment won't be the best option. Instead, trigger Point Therapists want to focus on your pain points with an aggressive approach-deep pressure at those sore spots until they are released from tension. 

This type of release can also help relieve headaches, neck stiffness or even alleviate some joint problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome (pain alongside the hand where muscles pass through).

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