A soft tissue called fascia coats other structures within the body, including muscles, organs, blood vessels and nerves. The tissue coating the muscles is sometimes called myofascia. Injury and overuse can make the myofascia tear and then glue itself back together, and the resultant adhesions are called trigger points, trigger sites or muscle knots.
Trigger points make the muscles stiff and sore, and they can decrease the range of motion of the affected area. A trigger point involving the shoulder, for example, can make it hard for someone to raise their arm over their head.
Trigger points can cause “referral pain” in which the pain in the affected area radiates from the trigger point to a neighboring part of the body. A trigger point in the shoulder can thus cause pain in the back, neck and/or arm.
What is Massage?
Massage is an ancient healing art; the Chinese described it 3,000 years ago, and Hippocrates (460 – 370 BC) wrote papers about its therapeutic benefits. Massage has many documented health benefits and can be used to treat chronic pain. There are over 250 types of massage, and trigger point therapy, sometimes called trigger point myotherapy, is one of them.
What Does Trigger Point Therapy Involve?
Our team will begin by taking the patient’s medical history. We will want to know how long the patient has been in pain and what they believe caused it. We may also ask the patient to stand and walk so we can examine the patient’s posture and gait.
Our team will assess the patient to locate the trigger points, which are most commonly found in the hips, back or shoulders. The patient will be told to lie down in a way that is comfortable and does not aggravate any trigger points.
We will massage the client with our fingers to break up the trigger point. We will then work with the patient to extend their range of motion. For example, if the trigger point had kept the patient from raising their arm over their head, we will work with the patient so they can do so.
A typical trigger point therapy session may last about an hour. Most patients will notice a marked improvement in their condition after two or three visits.
What Happens After the Session?
Our team can give the patient advice on how to reduce their susceptibility to trigger points and improve their overall health. In addition to diet and exercise, they may also recommend various stress management techniques.
Contact Us Today
If you are seeking relief for trigger points, don’t suffer any longer and schedule an appointment with us at Apponaug Chiropractic Center in Warwick. Contact our office today to set up a consultation for trigger point therapy.