Trigger Point Therapy

Another form of treatment that I provide is Trigger Point Therapy. Again, rarely is this treatment provided by itself but as part of a number of modalities provided depending on how the patient is presenting. Trigger Points are interesting as no one can really explain how they present the way they do.

Trigger Points are described as focused hyper-irritable points that can exists in muscle tissue. It is my belief that this section of muscle tissue is in a state of hyper contraction with a heavy CO2 (metabolic waste) presence. The Trigger Point will feel like a nodule. The issue with Trigger points is that it can affect the ability for the whole muscle to relax so it can cause the whole muscle to tighten. The most interesting part of trigger points is how they refer a vague dull ache away from the actual site of the trigger point. Often trigger points can mimic other conditions like a joint conditions, migraines, carpal tunnel and nerve entrapment conditions like Sciatica. For instance, the side of the neck has a set of muscles called the Scalenes, which help stabilize the neck and raise the top two ribs during inhalation. They have a dramatic  referral pattern as you can see.

The lateral low back muscles and Hip Stabilizer muscles have the ability to refer down the leg similar to pain encountered in Sciatica (compression of Sciatic Nerve) except that the pain is duller and more vague more like a dull toothache.

There are many muscles in the body that have these referral patterns so postural, muscle weakness and description of pain helps to identify if it is a Trigger Point and where it might be. The biggest presenters tend to be the muscles around the neck causing headaches. Each muscle will cause pain at different parts of the head whether it be the temple, top of the head, base of the skull. To simply release the trigger point would only be helpful for a short time as the cause is probably still present whether it be poor posture, stretched muscles, joint immobility or irritation ect. It all comes down to putting the body back in a position of good balance, joint mobility, strength and stability so no muscles are put under the constant strain that can cause the Trigger Points. Here are some Headache Trigger Points: The X is where the Trigger Point is and the red area is where the pain is referred to: