Trigger Points Massage
The body is a matrix of intertwined muscles, joints and tendons. Trigger point therapy taps into the body’s internal web of muscles and tissues to unlock common chronic and injury-related pains caused by tension and stress.
Everybody has trigger points, but whether they’re activated or not can depend on if an area has undergone trauma, stress, overuse or injury. When activated, trigger points can cause widespread pain, tension, irritation and even lack of motion. Applying a moderate to deep pressure to these areas can create a dull, aching feeling to different areas of the body, which is most commonly known as referral pain. This referral pain actually lets therapists know that they are on a trigger point so they can directly address the area and concern.
When you receive trigger point therapy, you may feel tenderness when the therapist applies pressure. But overall, it should be a therapeutic experience where you feel relief after the pressure is applied and the trigger point goes away.
“Trigger point therapy helps eliminate pain, relieve tension and promote a better range of motion, ” explains Merrissa Proctor, massage therapist at Elements Acton. “It’s a great tool for all ages and for many issues to unlock an area, but it’s also great to increase circulation and help muscles regain full function. Ultimately, it’s a rehabilitative therapy that provides quick, lasting results.”
Repetitive Movements, Stress Build Knots throughout the Body
Normal people living everyday lives can benefit from the relief provided through trigger point therapy. Performing simple activities like driving in your car for extended periods of time or overdoing it in your daily workout can cause strain and promote the buildup of stress and tension in your muscles.
Doing continuous movement over and over again can irritate tissue, which over time can lead to the development of trigger points. Ultimately, when tissues remain in a contracted state for long periods of time they can harden and create little nodules that therapists can palpitate and actually feel for during a trigger point massage. When these trigger points are addressed and the tension is released, clients can feel instant relief that feeds into long-lasting results.
“When I have a client lay on my table in so much pain and then when the trigger point session is over they get up feeling so much better, those are the best moments of the massage, ” shares Ashley Hughes, massage therapist at Elements Chandler West. “When clients realize that they can actually turn their neck in directions they couldn’t before the session, that’s when you see the results of trigger point.”
Trigger Point Provides Quick Results for Releasing Tight Knots
Trigger point therapy encompasses a lot more of the body than most people may realize. This results-driven technique is best for addressing an injury or chronic pain as well as providing pain management solutions for people with beginning to advanced conditions.
- Sciatica pain that can affect the lower back, glutes, legs and feet
- Shin splints
- Computer shoulder
- Chronic pain in joints such as stiff neck and back
- Rotator cuff injuries and/or immobility
“Sometimes it’ll only take one trigger point therapy session to start seeing results. Sometimes it can take a little bit longer, ” explains Proctor. “Instead of putting a Band-Aid on a problem, you’re actually going into the problem and fixing it with trigger point.”
Pain is Not the Purpose of Trigger Point Therapy
Many people have the misconception that clients who get trigger point massage have to endure high levels of pain and be sore for days following the massage in order for it to be beneficial. In reality, though, Proctor and Hughes both agree that the purpose of trigger point is not to provide more pain, but to rather reduce pain and heal injuries.
“It shouldn’t be an excruciating painful type of experience where you’re sore and bruised, ” explains Hughes. “There can be a little bit of tenderness and discomfort in the spot that you’re digging into, but you shouldn’t be afraid to communicate your personal limits with your therapist. Everyone is different so don’t go into a session feeling like you have to hold your breath and bear down to tolerate the pain.”