What are trigger points?
There is an opinion that 2/3 of chronic pain is caused mainly by trigger points located in muscles. Trigger points, or myofascial knots, are hyperirritable points located in a tense muscle or its fascia, characterised by radiating pain. Trigger points can form in different muscles and they cause pain and several functional disorders. There are many causes for them.
Most common causes include:
- acute overexertion
- chronic overexertion
- catching cold
- direct trauma
- emotional stress
- vitamin deficiencies (vitamin B group, vitamin C)
- hormonal disorders
Trigger point pain is deep and burning and there are metabolic disorders in these points. If these points stay for a very long time, the muscles could undergo structural changes and the pain can become chronic.
How to recognise trigger points?
Trigger point therapy finds points via palpation or feeling. A therapist recognises a trigger point from the following characteristics:
- pain occurs when pressed with the right pressure
- one can feel the thickening of subcutaneous tissue
- patient’s acute reaction to pain
- muscle reacts to pain by contracting
- muscle stiffness
How are trigger points worked on?
Trigger point therapy includes pressing on the point with thumb/finger. Thumb pressure dissipates pain-causing chemicals and stimulates the production of pain-reducing opioids. Pressure is applied during trigger point therapy as long as the point starts to “melt” under the thumb, pain alleviates and radiation is reduced. At first, this might seem like a modern torture method, but once the pain goes away, the patient feels relaxed.
Who should come to trigger point therapy?
Trigger point therapy lasts for 60 minutes and the main affected areas are worked during this time (e.g. for lower back pain: glutes, lower back, hip flexors). If nothing is wrong with you, the therapist can work the whole body and work on traditional trigger points. Therapy is for a person who feels general chronic physical and mental tension and often feels in the mornings that the whole body hurts. Compared to Swedish massage, trigger point therapy is more painful and less enjoyable, but also has a longer effect. As muscle fibres around the trigger points are also tense and have become string-like, this therapy can be combined with either Thai massage or deep tissue massage for an even bigger relief.
Trigger point therapy at Teraapialaegas:
60 minutes – EUR 33