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Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy


What exactly are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are places of rigidness in body tissues known more popularly as knots.

While they are primarily found in muscles (“myofascial” trigger points), these knots can also be found in tendons, fascia and ligaments.
Let’s check out muscle trigger points in detail since that’s what we deal with more often during massage. They form as a result of excessive accumulation of two chemicals – acetylcholine and calcium. The excess of the two chemicals leads to lack of oxygen in that area of a muscle which in turn results in muscle fibers contracting like crazy. When muscle fibers contract too much, they form a knot. Massage therapy helps bring blood flow into the contracted muscle tissue which supplies a fresh amount of oxygen and allows the production of ATP which in turn stops fiber contraction. It brings balance back to your muscles and connective tissue. 
Latent vs. Active Trigger Points
One type is an active trigger point. This means that the trigger point causes pain even while a muscle or tissue is at rest. The other type is a latent trigger point, which means that the point does not cause pain, or is sometimes even noticed, until pressure is applied to the point. Both types of trigger points may cause secondary trigger points to form. They can also prevent muscles from extending fully, making them feel much weaker than they really are. Do you have muscle knots that cause pain when you move? If yes, it means they are active in your body and it’s time to get them addressed. Referred pain happens when a trigger point causes sensations somewhere away from the point itself. For example, do you experience headaches that are unexplained because your doctor can’t find a proper cause? They could be a result of myofascial trigger points in your neck muscles referring pain to a trigger point in your scalp muscles. The formation of additional trigger points is a big reason why it’s so important to schedule a massage appointment as soon as you notice consistent tension and fatigue in any muscle.
What Causes Trigger Points?
You may be asking yourself, ‘So what do I actually do that enables trigger points to form in my body?’ Trigger points, unfortunately, can be caused by many events and some of them may surprise you. The main ones are:
Direct trauma
Any time muscles are traumatized or injured, fibers may not heal properly causing fiber segments in muscles to stay deprived of oxygen and knotted. That is why it’s very important to address your injury properly and timely if you happen to get injured.
Excessive and prolonged exercise
This is also called “gross-muscle movements” and happens during any type of exercise activity. This may be an obvious factor, as a lot of muscle strain and injury stems from doing sports or exercising too hard for too long without proper muscle recuperation.
Maintaining posture
Especially in cases of posture asymmetry, holding a specific posture for anyone is considered a fine-motor movement and can cause tension and aches. For example, holding your shoulders up when you are working at the computer desk or hunching over for too long without even realizing it.
Stress and fatigue
Both emotional and physical stress can take the same toll on the body and result in excessive muscle contraction. Most of the time, it happens subconsciously without us even realizing it so it’s important to engage in relaxation activities to break this pattern.
Much like how overuse takes a toll on the body, lack of use can as well—for example, being bed-ridden or very sick for a long period of time.
Medical conditions
Predictably, conditions that affect muscles such as arthritis and fibromyalgia or certain medications can facilitate the development of trigger points.
Treatments for Trigger Points
Trigger points require immediate attention and can be treated in several ways. If not addressed in a timely manner, they generate additional trigger points and severe muscle damage which results in limited range of motion, stiffness, injuries, and trauma.
The safest and fastest way to treat them is via massage. There is a specific massage technique that is involved into treating trigger points. We offer therapeutic massages that include trigger point work. Another way to treat trigger points is through acupuncture and cupping therapy. Both of these methods are very effective, as they bring blood flow to the area and reset the muscle so it stops painfully contracting.

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