Trigger Point Therapy/ Myofascial Release

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Health Tips/Information | Comments Off on Trigger Point Therapy/ Myofascial Release

Trigger Point Therapy/ Myofascial Release

When muscle tissue has been injured or damaged, movement may be uncomfortable. Muscles my even be sensitive to touch or pressure. As the tissue works to heal itself., inflammation occurs in the neuromuscular junction (the area of tissue where nerves and muscle fibers meet) can make the muscle sensitive and irritable. The muscle fibers respond to the irritation by twisting and contracting, making the area feel like a hard lump that may hurt to touch. This lump is called a trigger point. As the name indicates, pressing on this lump triggers pain either directly in the location touched or somewhere else. As anyone knows who has lived with trigger points, they can be a source of constant discomfort. Tripper point therapy used in conjunction with chiropractic adjustment of the spine and extremities is the best way to get relief from the discomfort these points cause.

There are four grades of tripper points: two active and two latent.

Grade 1: Pain in the area of the trigger point is relatively constant (considered active).

Grade 2: The pain is noticed with movement or with slight pressure (active).

Grade 3: The pain of the trigger point is not noticed until digital pressure is applied (latent).

Grade 4: Lump can be felt with digital pressure but does not cause pain (latent).

Subjective Experience: Treatment of trigger points can be painful. This pain can be lessened by knowing what to expect. It follows a step-wise progression from beginning to end.

  1. As pressure is applied to the trigger point, a sharp or burning pain may be felt directly in the area or referred to another location (i.e. down the back or the arm).
  2. The “jump sign” may be noted along with a muscle twitch. This is evidence of the trigger point’s existence.
  3. Static or slight circular pressure is applied for thirty to sixty seconds. During this time, the burning or sharp pain may begin to intensify and then dissipate. It is important to remember to keep breathing deeply focusing on keeping the muscles relaxed. If the muscles are kept tense to compete with the treatment, the pain may be intensified and the therapy may be less beneficial.

Method of Treatment: There are several methods of treating trigger points.

Spray and Stretch: Direct digital pressure/massage for thirty to sixty seconds , repeated several times followed by stretching of the area. After the stretching has been completed, a vapocoolant spray is applied to  the treated area. Stretching is repeated to educate the muscle with respect to its new range of motion.

Ultrasound: Sound waves are passed through a special device into the muscle tissue in order to bring blood into the tissue and help it to relax. Coupling gel is used to facilitate the transfer of energy.

Muscle Stimulation: The muscle tissue is stimulated using a small electrical current conducted via electroconductive pads. Stimulation causes the muscle to contract as it does in exercise pumping blood in and out. The muscle becomes tired and blood flow is increased causing the trigger point to relax.

Sound-Stim. Combo: Ultrasound and muscle stim. are used in combination to aggressively treat trigger points.

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