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Trigger Point Therapy

What is a trigger point?

Excessive strain or traumatic overstretching creates zones in the muscles that have too little oxygen (hypoxia). Due to this lack, the actin and myosin filaments can no longer be released from one another (rigor complex). The afflicted parts of the muscle are palpable (trigger points) and cause pain when stimulated by pressure on the area or elsewhere (referred pain).

 

What can be caused by trigger points?

Trigger points can be the causes of acute as well as chronic pain conditions and functional limitations of the musculoskeletal system. Further, they are also responsible for disturbances of sensation (paraesthesias), muscle weakness, proprioceptive disturbances with impairment to coordination and autonomous vegetative reactions.

Together, all of the symptoms caused by active trigger points are referred to as “myofascial pain syndrome”.

What is trigger point therapy?

Trigger point therapy treats local rigidification (trigger points, myogeloses) in the musculature. In order to dissolve the trigger points, the therapist applies massage, stretching and strengthening exercises to the area, possibly in combination with cold compresses. Beyond this, trigger points can also be treated with acupuncture needles (dry needling).

(Source: IMTT website)