A Myofascal trigger point or “trigger point” for short is a focal area of tightness within a muscle, commonly referred to as “knots” by people who experience them. The reason that the trigger point feels like a knot is because a specific and focal area of the muscle has contracted and is tighter than the rest of the muscle fibers, this restricts blood flow to the muscle, causes pain, and normally leads to dysfunction in the muscle that can cause other problems elsewhere in the body. Trigger points are commonly responsible for aches and pains in the body that haven’t resulted from an injury. Headaches and shoulder pain are good examples of where trigger points have been responsible for the cause of pain.
Trigger point therapy
Involves the Myotherapist placing direct pressure onto the trigger point, usually with their thumb and holding pressure on the point for 30-60 seconds or until the trigger point releases. The patient will often feel the pain dissipate as the pressure is applied. As well as hands on trigger point therapy Dry Needling is also very effective at relieving painful trigger points and is often used on deep trigger points or points that have been unresponsive to hands on release in the past.
Benefits of releasing trigger points:
- Decrease pain
- Increase range of motion
- Restore optimum joint and spinal function
- Improve strength
- Improve posture