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Trigger point therapy is a bodywork technique that involves the applying of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Sometimes massage and trigger point therapy are performed together.
Trigger point therapy is also called myofascial trigger point therapy. It was developed by Dr. Janet Travel in the United States in the 1940s.
What are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are areas of tenderness in a muscle. There are two basic types of trigger points: active and latent.
Active trigger points cause muscular pain and will refer pain and tenderness to another area of the body when pressure is applied. Latent trigger points only exhibit pain when compressed, they do not refer pain to other areas of the body. Latent trigger points are believed to be one of the causes of stiff joints and restricted range of motion of old age.
Trigger points may be associated with myofascial pain syndromes or fibromyalgia. Trigger points are very common. They are also referred to as muscle knots.
Trigger points differ from acupressure points. Acupressure points are concentrations of energy or blockages of the body's energy pathways. Trigger points are physical phenomena that can be felt by touch.
The pain caused by trigger points may be the biggest cause of disability and loss of time in the workplace.
What Causes Trigger Points?
Trigger points have several causes. Some common causes of trigger points are: birth trauma, an injury sustained in a fall or accident, poor posture, or overexertion.
What is the Purpose of Trigger Point Therapy?
The purpose of trigger point therapy is to eliminate pain and to re-educate the muscles into pain-free habits. After several treatments, the swelling and stiffness of neuromuscular pain is reduced, range of motion is increased, tension is relieved, and circulation, flexibility and coordination are improved.