What Is a Trigger Point Massage? Everything You Need to Know
Everyone deals with aches and pains now and again. Chronic pain, however, can have a lasting impact on your quality of life. You might notice changes in your mobility and range of motion.
Are you dealing with chronic pain? Nearly 50% of your body weight is skeletal muscle. Instead of traditional pain relief methods, you could benefit from trigger point therapy instead.
What exactly is a trigger point massage, and how can it help ease your pain?
We’ll review everything you need to know about trigger point therapy before your first appointment. Read on to learn more.
What are Trigger Points?
First, let’s answer the question that’s on everyone’s mind: what are trigger points, exactly?
Many people refer to trigger points as “knots” against an achy muscle. They’re also referred to as adhesions. These tender points feel like a solid rock within a muscle.
You’ll likely notice the trigger point is surrounded by loose, more pliable muscle as well.
If you’ve recently received a massage, you might hear and feel when someone touches a trigger point. It might seem like rock is stuck in your muscle tissue. Perhaps you’ve heard a soft crunching sound when there’s pressure on the area.
Trigger points may be taut muscle fibers capable of irritating your small nerves. Other members of the medical community think these fibers are cutting off their own blood supply. Pain could develop as a result.
You can feel trigger points throughout your body. They might feel like pressure in your eye or ear. Some people develop headaches that move across the forehead or affect the teeth.
Trigger points can also cause you to experience shooting pain from your hand to shoulder. Some people experience deep aches, while others experience stabbing pains.
Lower body trigger points can affect the lower part of your spine. They can mimic sciatica pain or plantar fasciitis, impacting your glutes and feet.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, speak with a chiropractor or massage therapist. They can help you recognize the source of your pain. They might suggest a trigger point massage as the best course of treatment.
What is a Trigger Point Massage?
What is trigger point therapy? This technique allows practitioners to locate and eliminate trigger points that are causing pain throughout your body. They can release the knots by applying pressure to your trigger points.
A trigger point massage therapist might use their fingers, elbows, or massage tools when applying pressure to your muscles.
Loosening your constricted muscles will return your fascia to its elastic form. Otherwise, the tension within your muscles will persist, as will your pain.
First, your therapist will determine where your trigger points are located. They’ll apply pressure to these areas for a few seconds. After giving the area a short break, they’ll apply pressure again until the tension releases.
Relieving your tense muscles will ensure blood can travel to the affected area. Your blood will carry the nutrients necessary to promote healing.
Before your first appointment, make sure to look for a qualified practitioner. It’s also important to choose someone with experience providing this form of therapy. An inexperienced, unlicensed professional could cause more harm than good.
Conditions It Treats
Trigger point massage therapy can help patients who require a myofascial release. Leaving your condition untreated, however, can cause your pain to persist. You might experience a range of motion limitations and limited mobility.
Loosening your constricted muscles will allow for pain-free movement.
There are a few conditions trigger point therapy could help with.
The most common condition this therapy treat is myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Patients with MPS have inflammation in their body’s soft tissues. Chronic inflammation can cause pain.
Patients with MPS often experience deep pain in their muscles. They could also develop knots. Their pain will likely persist and get worse over time.
Patients can also use trigger point therapy if they have carpal tunnel syndrome. Releasing tension in the hands, wrists, and arms could improve their mobility. They could find it’s easier to use their hands after a session.
Do you suffer from chronic headaches and migraines? Easing tightening muscles around the head and neck might help.
Fibromyalgia causes stiffness in the muscles. Patients with fibromyalgia could benefit from massage therapy as well.
Temporomandibular joint disorder, on the other hand, affects the jaw muscles. Massage therapy could reduce inflammation and pain to these muscles, improving the jaw’s mobility.
Were you recently in a car crash? Trigger point therapy could help reduce muscle stiffness after an accident or injury as well. Loosening the muscles can promote faster healing.
There are many ways a trigger point massage can benefit your life.
For starters, you should experience a reduction of pain symptoms. When pain and tension are no longer a problem, your range of motion should improve as well.
Improving your range of motion can improve your muscle performance and flexibility.
It’s important to exercise before an intense workout. Stretching beforehand can prepare your muscles, helping you avoid a potential injury.
Your massage therapist can help release trigger points throughout your body. It would help if you experienced a rush of relief to that area while they work.
Don’t forget: your blood flow will improve, too. When there’s unnecessary pressure on your soft tissues, the tissues can become dehydrated. Relieving the pressure will ensure they receive the nutrients and oxygen your tissues need.
If you deal with neck and back pain, your posture might suffer. Poor posture will only make your pain worse, creating a vicious cycle. By reducing your pain, you can improve your posture before permanent issues develop.
Beyond that, a massage is a great way to relax and unwind after a difficult day!
Finger on the Trigger: Your Guide to Trigger Point Massage Therapy
To recap, what is trigger point massage therapy, exactly? It’s a form of therapy designed to ease knots of tension throughout the body. By scheduling a session, you can relax, unwind, and improve your health!