Over the course of our lives, we all accumulate aches and pains. Even though you must accept some changes as you age, you should also take a moment to listen to your body, as some of those seemingly unexplained moments of discomfort might be within your power to fix. Your physiotherapist may use trigger point release to help manage and prevent muscle pain.
What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a hyperirritable spot in your fascia, the connective tissue attached to your muscles. Trigger points are formed when muscles grow tight into ‘knots’ due to constant tension. These knots usually correspond to referred pain, which is pain felt at a different point than where the injury occurred.
What kind of pain can trigger point release treat?
After an injury, the functions of an affected muscle are carried out by other nearby muscles. When our bodies become accustomed to this new pattern we tend to develop chronic pain.
Trigger point release is a technique physiotherapists use to counter these patterns. This treatment uses pressure applied either manually or through dry-needling, physiotherapy, massage, heat or a combination. Often trigger point release addresses back, hip, shoulder, neck, knee and other muscle pain. It can even reduce headaches and other tension related conditions.
Is trigger point release right for me?
The root cause of pain can often be difficult to diagnose and referred pain from trigger points can be similar to many other conditions. Since there is still some controversy about trigger point release and it is not usually included in medical training, doctors don’t often recommend this form of treatment.
However trigger point release can be one of the most effective methods for relieving common, everyday pain. With time, trigger point release may help you to avoid using pain medication (depending on your condition), and can also be used alongside more traditional treatments.
How much trigger point release is needed?
That depends entirely on what type of pain you’re experiencing. Recent injuries may require only a few sessions of trigger point release, but for more serious, chronic issues you may require intense treatment, followed by ongoing check-ups.
What to expect
Trigger point release comes with some discomfort. Your physiotherapist will be working with affected areas, compressing muscles related to your pain. However, this initial discomfort will aid in the greater flexibility and function of these muscles.
Trigger point release can be used in conjunction with other treatment options. In fact, your physiotherapist will likely prescribe exercises to follow at home so that you can continue repairing and strengthening your muscles.
For many, this form of treatment can feel miraculous. After enduring painful and ineffective treatments due to misdiagnosis, the relief of tension associated with trigger point release can make sufferers of chronic pain feel like they’ve found the answer. However, it is important to remember that physiotherapy relieves pain by helping to restore body function, so you need to remain diligent and committed to your recovery plan.
Trigger point release gives you the opportunity to address pain that feels like an unfortunate reality of day to day life. With dedication and commitment, you and your physiotherapist can work to relieve back, shoulder, hip, joint and many other kinds of pain. Contact Meadowlands Physiotherapy today to discuss the best treatment plan for you.