Trigger Point Massage
Based on discoveries of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons, trigger points are knots which develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked. The defining symptom of a trigger point is referred pain. That is, trigger points usually send their pain to some other site. The displacement of pain is what throws everybody off, including most doctors. It’s why pain is so often misdiagnosed and so often treated with painkillers. Pain is a message that something is wrong and needs your attention. Is is good medicine to kill the messenger and ignore the message? Don’t assume that the problem is always at the place you feel pain.
Trigger points cause headaches, neck and jaw pain, low back pain, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. They can be the source of pain in such joints as the shoulder, wrist, hip, knee and ankle. Even fibromyalgia may have it’s beginnings with trigger points.
Trigger points have been written about in medical journals for over 60 years. Trigger point massage is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points of referred pain and through stretching exercises. These points are defined as localized areas in which the muscle and connective tissue are highly sensitive to pain when compressed. Pressure on these points can send referred pain to other specific parts of the body. The part of a muscle fiber that does the contracting is a microscopic unit called a sarcomere. Contraction occurs in a sarcomere when it’s two parts come together and interlock like fingers. Millions of sarcomeres have to contract in your muscles to make even the smallest movement. A trigger point exists when over stimulated sarcomeres are chemically prevented from releasing their interlocked state. This is where trigger point massage comes in handy to stop this process.
Trigger point massage is a great technique for many sources of pain.