Trigger Points – What They Mean

“WOW! I can feel that in my shoulder!”

Have you ever said that while your therapist is working on the neck area?  Then your therapist probably explained the term trigger point to you.  These small points of hyperirritability can cause sharp pain sensations, pain that is felt in other areas, and taunt bands of muscle and connective tissue or myofascial tissue.  If you gently explore the sides of your neck, you will surely find a few of them there, but trigger points can exist in any part of the myofascial tissue.

Many treatment options exist for trigger points, and, as lifetimes of research are being dedicated to the study of them, the science is getting better and better for optimal pain management and trigger point release.  The study that we are highlighting today is an in-depth study for trigger point treatments relating to the calf muscles, gastrocnemius and soleus.  

The exciting findings were that a combination of manual therapy (trigger point release techniques that your massage therapist should be trained in) and stretching were successful in relieving pain from those points.  With our sessions, we love to incorporate trigger point release, and, with our new membership, you will have access to stretching videos to give you effective ways to manage and improve those areas affected by trigger points even outside your sessions.

So next time you feel that knot or tension or pain into a different area, just know that you are receiving a little love note from your body to say “Hey, please take care of me.”  Honor those messages.

Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Published Online: February 1, 2011. Volume 41. Issue 2. Pages 43-50

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