Trigger Point Therapy

I was going to write an article on Trigger point work, but a friend and fellow Chiropractor wrote such a great article on Trigger point work that I figured I would steal it.  Well, like I said he is a friend so I figured I would ask his permission before stealing it.  He was gracious enough to let me use it, so below is an article written by Stephen Gangemi, DC.  If you or anybody you know is in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area please look him up.

Trigger Point Therapy – A Powerful Tool to Treat &

Prevent Injuries

 

I use trigger point therapy a lot while treating patients in my office – it’s one of the many tools used to get a person well. Trigger point therapy is very effective for a variety of problems, often structural but even sometimes visceral (organ related). Since I discuss trigger points in articles throughout the Sock Doc site and especially in my videos, I thought it would be helpful to go deeper (no pun intended) into trigger points – why you get them and will want to correct them, and how to go about doing just that – safely and effectively.

What is a Trigger Point?

Trigger points are termed as hyper-irritable points in the muscle and fascial matrix, which can alter nervous system function. They are also often created by nervous system stress, which I’ll talk about more in a bit. Tiny parts of the muscle called sarcomeres are unable to release from their interlocked state and this creates poor blood flow, inflammation, and pain in the area. Trigger points can be anywhere in the body, and can result from a local injury or from one distant from where the injury is perceived to be. They are described as hard nodules, tight bands of fiber, or “knots” in the muscle or fascia. Actually, many trigger points refer pain to a distant area – common examples are a trigger point in the calf muscle causing ankle or foot pain or a trigger point in the upper trapezius causing jaw or headache-type pain.

The concept behind trigger points is nothing new. In 1942, medical physician Dr. Janet Travell coined the term based upon what she described as myofascial pain syndromes. This basically means pain derived from muscle, fascia, or both. Fascia is the thick type of connective tissue that surrounds pretty much everything in your body, from muscles to blood vessels to organs. Fascia is like a spider-web matrix of tissue and it makes it plausible that everything is in some way connected to everything inside you. That means that muscles in your foot are connected to muscles in your neck, and even to your liver – obviously not directly, but definitely amazing (at least to me).

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