Trigger Point Therapy
What are Trigger Points?
Trigger Points are compressed skeletal muscle tissue that become tender and hypersensitive and often gives rise to referred pain. Common muscle areas that can be affected are on the back, shoulder, neck, arms and legs. Complaints from patients in need of this type of therapy are often a poor range of motion, tightness, achiness, and tension. There are two types of trigger points - passive and active. Passive Trigger points are points where the Acupuncturist will press into the muscle and it can be felt directly in that spot. For example pressure on the back between the shoulder blades is often felt directly in the area being palpated. Active Trigger points, on the other hand, are felt away from the spot where the pressure is placed. An example of this is when the deltoid muscle in the shoulder may be needled to help relieve tingling, numbness or pain referred down the arm.
What is Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger point therapy is performed by inserting a thin acupuncture needle into your trigger points and gently pecking at the point. This then releases the knot, which is seen and felt by both the Acupuncturist and the patient. The big advantage to this treatment is that it gets deep into the muscle where a massage therapist or other practitioner might not be able to reach. This therapy often provides more longevity than other forms of traditional acupuncture or massage. Components of trigger point therapy may include sustained pressure, heating pads, electrical stimulation, traditional acupuncture and massage.
How Many Trigger Point Treatments will you need?
The number of treatments needed will differ from patient to patient. The more chronic the condition, the more treatments are likely to be required. And, depending on what is causing the problem, treatments may be needed from time to time to release the knots. If, for example the trigger point is caused by sitting at your computer at work or working out regularly at the gym, you may want to have ongoing treatments to prevent any pain or discomfort from building up.
What can you do at home between treatments?
To assist in managing discomfort between your trigger point treatments, some of the following may be helpful:
- rolling with a tennis ball or foam roller
- applying heating pads, soaking in a hot tub or hot bath
Come in to Chris Jeffrey Wellness to help treat your trigger points, and start engaging in an active treatment program to make a positive difference with your trigger points. By receiving treatments and learning self management techniques, you can be in control of your condition.