What is Trigger Point Therapy
During a trigger point therapy session, the massage therapist will apply pressure to sore muscles in order provide some relief. It is not uncommon that masseuses will combine a Swedish massage with trigger point therapy to obtain the best results. There are two types of trigger points, active and latent. Active trigger points will pass on pain to another area of the body when pressure is applied to the original sore spot. Latent trigger points are only painful when pressure is applied to the direct spot. The pain does not travel to other areas unlike active trigger points. Physicians believe latent trigger points are caused from stiff joints and a restricted range of motion. Trigger points are also known as knots and are very common in many people. Some causes of trigger points include: accident or falls, poor posture, and overexertion.
The purpose of treatment is to reduce pain and retrain the muscles into painless habits. After 3 or 4 treatments the tenderness and pain is reduced and range of motion is increased. Many individuals will also see an increase in flexibility, coordination and circulation. Some people who would benefit from trigger point therapy include: athletes, arthritis patients, individuals with carpal tunnel, migraine sufferers, or people recovering from accidents or trauma. People who can perform trigger point therapy are physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors. Medical doctors are not trained in this specialty. This treatment is a great non-invasive alternative to prescription drugs or surgery.
History of Trigger Point Therapy
Janet Travel is credited for creating many theories behind trigger point therapy. She was John F. Kennedy’s personal physician and treated him for back pain with this method. This was defiantly a first for women during this time period. She published papers on trigger point and then published the first volume of The Trigger Point Manuel. In 1992, a second volume was released.