Trigger Point Therapy
Muscle pain associated with exercise can result from acute trauma, a rip or tear in a muscle, tendon or ligament, or infection, and in such cases is often severe and persistent requiring medical attention. However, for most athletes, pain occurring with or after exercise is often temporary (but may be recurrent or chronic) and is usually associated with either over use. The pain may present through out the muscle or at other times in small painful knots that radiate pain in a specific manner along the muscle
. These latter painful knots we call trigger points
. In the material below, "treatment of trigger points" and "the use of massage therapy", overlap and both are worth understanding. I highly recommend the treatment plans of Rich Poley (i and ii below) which are a gentle start in the technique of self massage and work up to the more vigorous massage technique in the ATxAvideos (i through iv below)
. Be sure to ice the areas after your self massage for about 15 minutes
total (we will demonstrate this an up coming video). Always start slowly at low intensity and work your way up.
: Trigger points, also known as trigger sites or muscle knots, are described as hyper-irritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules (not caused by acute local trauma or infection). Such irritable sites can cause referred pain such as those sites (trigger points) at the base of the neck between the scapula and clavicle causing pain from the mid lateral neck up to the base of the ear or even the jaw. Palpation of the trigger point or muscle knot reproduces the patient's complaint of pain, and the pain radiates in a distribution typical of the specific muscle harboring the trigger point
. The pain cannot be explained by findings on neurological examination. The main culprit causing such nodules is felt to be overuse which often occurs in athletes or from poor posture. Some medical specialist or therapist can recognize the trigger points by the area of pain radiation (see "Trigger Point Guide" [B] below). Some refer to this as myofascial pain believing that overlying or adjacent fascia
may be involved but the fascia relationship is poorly understood.