Trigger point therapy is a bodywork technique first developed by Dr. Janet Travell and Dr David Simons in the USA in the 1940’s. Trigger Point therapy involves applying pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body.
Trigger point therapy is also called myofascial trigger point therapy. Muscle knots are an example of this phenomenon.
Trigger points refer to the areas of tenderness in a muscle. There are two basic types of trigger points: active and latent. Active trigger points cause muscular pain. Active points will often 'refer' pain and tenderness to another area of the body when pressure is applied. Latent trigger point’s only exhibit pain when compressed, they do not refer pain to other areas of the body. Latent trigger points are likely to be one of the causes of stiff joints and restricted range of motion.
Trigger points are different from acupressure points. Acupressure points are concentrations of energy or blockages of the body's energy pathways. Trigger points are physical phenomena that can be felt by touching.
Trigger points have several causes. Some common causes are, birth trauma, an injury sustained in a fall or accident, poor posture, or overexertion.
The purpose of trigger point therapy is to eliminate pain and to re-educate the muscles to perform pain-free habits. After several treatments, the swelling and stiffness of neuromuscular pain is reduced. Range of motion is increased, tension is relieved, and circulation, flexibility and coordination are improved.
Interestingly, the pain caused by trigger points is an especially significant cause of disability and loss of time in the workplace. Trigger point therapy and other massage technique are often performed together within a treatment. Specialists in trigger point therapy can help you improve your natural ability to maintain an active lifestyle.