TRIGGER POINT THERAPY

 

Trigger Points (TPs) are taut palpable bands in muscles and connective tissue that refer pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness into other, often predictable, areas.


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Common trapezius TPs that refer into the neck, shoulders, head, and face

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Common sternocleidomastoid trigger points

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Common trigger points of the low back

trigger point therapy

trigger points

Trigger Points (TPs) are taut palpable bands in muscles and connective tissue that refer pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness into other, often predictable, areas.


TPs can also present as sensations of hot, cold or itchy; or, can create symptoms such as nausea, ear or tooth ache, dizziness, tinnitus, or blurred vision.   


TPS often refer pain down the arms and legs in ways that are similar to nerve compression injuries. 


TPs are more commonly found at the sites of the greatest mechanical and postural stress.


Trigger point Development

Trigger Points are caused by trauma to, and misuse of, the soft tissue.   In our culture, it's mostly from repetitive motions and poor posture, although a trauma like a car accident or bad fall can also lead to their development.


While TPs can appear anywhere in the body, I see them most often as common causes of headaches and jaw pain, neck and shoulder pain, and back and hip pain.

trigger point treatment

In massage therapy, TPs are treated/deactivated by compression, stretching, and behavior modification. 


(When TPs are located but don't respond to manual therapy, TP injections from a medical doctor are a possible treatment.)


While Trigger Point Therapy is also sometimes referred to as Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), not everyone who has NMT training is well-versed in Trigger Point Therapy.  My massage school, founded and run by a physical therapist, emphasized trigger point therapy and I have had had hundreds of hours of TP training from my initial education and my continuing education choices. 


Trigger Point Therapy is one of my most effective pain management tools.