We’ve probably all experienced it: after a long day at work, we get home and flop onto the nearest couch, only to feel something that feels like a knot in our shoulder or back. We stretch, trying to get it to release, but find that the muscle seems to be a little too tight.
This could be an example of a trigger point, which is a painful area of muscle that becomes tender, and may feel like tight bands or knots when pressed. While correcting your posture and taking to regular exercises and stretching can help alleviate the trigger point, the quickest way to find relief is to find a specialist who can perform trigger point therapy.
Want to learn more about trigger points and trigger point therapy, including what causes trigger points to activate and what to expect when you go for a trigger point therapy session? Then read on and find out more!
What Causes Trigger Points?
The study of muscular pain extends as far back as the 15th century, and because of this, the terminology has changed many times. You’re probably familiar with the idea of a knot in your muscles—this is a term that has been replaced with a trigger point. To put it simply, trigger points, or knots in the muscle, are pain points in the muscle fiber.
Trigger points usually come about when a muscle is overloaded or used incorrectly for a continuous amount of time. A good example of this is if you work a desk job and you sit slouched over for most of your shift. Because of the pulled-forward nature of hunching, your pectoral muscles and those in your upper back as well can experience trigger points. A trigger point leads a muscle to have a sustained contraction, or in other words, for the muscle to remain in a tight position where it is unable to relieve itself.
How Can Trigger Point Therapy Help?
Trigger point therapy helps to get the muscle to relax from the contraction it is currently stuck in. While this can be done over time with exercise and stretches, trigger point therapy provides quick relief, and is always done by a professional who can make certain that there is no underlying trauma to the muscle as well. An injection of saline or pressure therapy is used to help break up the muscle’s contraction, allowing it—and you—to relax.
What Can I Expect During and After a Trigger Point Therapy Session?
Trigger point therapy sessions are very similar to massage therapy sessions: pressure therapy will be performed on the area that is currently contracted. If this does not alleviate the contraction by itself, the expert providing the therapy might also suggest saline injections to let the muscle release the tension it is holding. These injections, also known as Trigger Point Injections, may contain just saline, or even a corticosteroid. They are injected into the trigger point, thus making it inactive. They help prevent referred pain, which is pain that arises in another part of the body due to the nerves around the trigger point getting irritated.
These injections are done in the doctor’s office itself, and provide sustained relief in a few sessions itself.
After a therapy session, it can be normal to feel sore for a few days. This is just the body reacting to the therapy that was performed on it and will fade. Keeping yourself well-hydrated can help with this, so drinking plenty of water afterward is a great way to help the therapy be the most effective while having the least amount of after-effects.
Are you looking for the right experts to try trigger point therapy with? Look no further than LeJeune Integrated Medical Centers! If you have any questions or wish to book a free consultation, merely contact us today.