Trigger Point Therapy

Sometimes you may feel pain in a particular muscle. Massage therapy will generally treat the muscle where the pain is felt which should give you relief in the short term. However, if there are trigger points present, the source of your pain may be coming from a different muscle which refers pain to another area of the body. Trigger point therapy addresses this and treats the cause as well as the symptoms of your pain.

Trigger point therapy was originally developed in the 1940’s by Dr. Janet Travell in the USA. She discovered that pain experienced in one part of the body can be caused by injury or dysfunction in another part of the body. She mapped out what she termed “trigger points” and which way the pain radiates throughout the body. Trigger points mimic everything from headaches to toothaches e.g. trigger points on the sternocleidomastoid muscle (on the neck) can refer pain to the head resulting in headache across the front of the brow, deep eye pain (involving decreased or blurred vision) pain on swallowing, pain behind the ear or pain at the top of the head.

Trigger points are experienced as:

  • Localised areas of deep tenderness
  • Pressure maintained on the point will refer pain to another area of the body.
  • Change in sensation which can be experienced as pain, tingling, numbness, itch, burning or coldness
  • Painful limit to full lengthening during range of movement actions
  • Causes of trigger points include:

  • Poor posture
  • Over exertion
  • Inactivity
  • Physical stress or injury
  • Emotional stress
  • Nutrition imbalances especially vitamins C, B complex and iron
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Allergies (in particular wheat and dairy)