What is Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy?
What is a myofascial trigger point? According to Drs Janet Travell and David Simons, it is "a hyper-irritable spot, usually within a taut band of skeletal muscle or in the muscle fascia. The spot is painful on compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena." (Travell & Simons Trigger Point Manual)
Myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points. These points are defined as localized areas in which the muscle and connective tissue are highly sensitive to pain when compressed. Pressure on myofascial trigger points (Mtrps) can send referred pain to other parts of the body. This treatment is based on the discoveries of Travell and Simons in which they found the causal relationship between chronic pain and its source.
What does this mean for you? If you have experienced enigmatic pain that seems to move around, pain that has persisted long after it should have, reduced range of motion, muscles aches and stiffness, you may have active or latent trigger points that are contributing to your pain pattern. As a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist, I am an expert in locating and deactivating trigger points.
For more on this, click on the button below from the NAMTPT: "Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy: What Is It?"
For more on the pathophysiology of Mtrps, here is a link to and an excerpt from a really interesting article Myofascial Trigger Points, (Lavelle et al 2007):
"The diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome, as defined by Simons and colleagues, relies on eight clinical characteristics. Identification of the pain distribution is one of the most critical elements in identifying and treating myofascial pain. There also is an associated consistent and characteristic referred pain pattern on palpation of this trigger point. Often, this referred pain is not located in the immediate vicinity of the trigger point, but is found commonly in predictable patterns. These patterns are described clearly in Travell and Simon’s Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual."