The Mind-Body Connection: Chronic Pain and Mental Health
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A Complete Guide to Trigger Point Therapy

01 Aug A Complete Guide to Trigger Point Therapy

It is not uncommon for people to live with chronic pain. Although the medical sector has made tremendous progress over the centuries, some ailments are still incurable. Though painkillers and other opioids are readily available to cure mild to severe pain, long-term use of these OTC medicines is detrimental to your health.

After trying everything, from massages to surgery, people ultimately learn to live with chronic pain. But what if I told you there is something called trigger point therapy that can help alleviate myofascial pain?

Before we delve deeper into the what and how of trigger point therapy, let us first understand trigger points.

What are trigger points?

Trigger points, sometimes called myofascial trigger points, are small, highly sensitive areas within muscles that cause pain and discomfort. They are characterised by tight bands or nodules of muscle fibers that are contracted and fail to relax even during rest. These trigger points can be found in various muscle groups throughout the body. They not only hurt when pressure is applied to that specific area, but they have the property to refer pain to other muscles as well. For example, a trigger point in the neck may cause pain to radiate to the head, shoulder, or arm.

What causes trigger points?

The following are the common reasons that cause trigger points:

• Muscle overuse Repetitive and prolonged use of muscles can lead to the development of trigger points.

• Muscle injury If you have suffered a muscle injury or direct trauma, it can create trigger points.

• Poor posture Trigger points are also developed due to improper or poor posture in your body.

• Stress Emotional and mental stress contribute to muscle tension, which leads to trigger points.

• Lack of exercise Leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause muscle tightness, leading to trigger points.

• Nerve compression Pressure on nerves can cause muscle fibers to contract and form trigger points.

What is trigger point therapy?

Trigger point therapy, or myofascial trigger point therapy, is a therapeutic approach to alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by trigger points in muscles. The goal of trigger point therapy is to release the tight bands of muscle fibres and promote relaxation in the affected muscles. This reduces pain, improves range of motion, and restores normal muscle function. This therapy involves applying targeted pressure to specific trigger points.

The following are the techniques used in trigger point therapy:

Manual Pressure: A therapist uses their fingers, thumbs, or palms to apply direct pressure to the trigger point. The pressure is applied gradually and can vary in intensity depending on the patient’s tolerance.

Dry Needling: This technique involves inserting a thin, solid needle into the trigger point to stimulate the muscle and release tension. It is similar to acupuncture but targets trigger points instead of traditional acupuncture points.

Instrument-Assisted Therapy: Specialized tools apply pressure to the trigger points. These tools can help reach deeper layers of muscles and apply consistent pressure.

Does trigger point therapy work?

Trigger points are susceptible to touch and can refer pain to other body parts. As Trigger-point therapy involves applying direct pressure to trigger points, it temporarily cuts off circulation to the tissues. It causes a buildup of nitric oxide in the tissue. Nitric oxide then signals micro capillaries to open up to increase the flow of blood, which breaks up the muscle knot. It is essential to note that one session of trigger point therapy is not sufficient to relieve you of the chronic pain you are suffering. Depending on the severity of trigger points, it may take several sessions to finally resolve one. Another thing worth noting is that trigger point therapy is just one component of a comprehensive treatment plan for muscle pain. Other therapies like massage, stretching, exercises, and regular visits to a chiropractor in Cork combined with trigger point therapy can provide more comprehensive relief.

How long do trigger points take to heal?

The healing of trigger points varies from person to person and depends on factors like the severity of the trigger point, the individual’s health, and the approach to treatment. Some patients observe instant relief after a chiropractor in Cork delivers a trigger point massage. Mild trigger points can be treated within a few days with proper massage, stretching, and self-care treatments. However, chronic trigger points can take several weeks and sometimes months to heal properly.

Trigger point therapy at Haven Pain Relief Centre

Visit our pain management clinic in Cork to receive medication-free treatment. Don’t ignore trigger point symptoms and seek medical help in the initial stages. Say goodbye to chronic pain with our trigger point therapy in Cork and take control of your life again.