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Trigger Points are knots in the muscle fibers & are very tender. Pain frequently radiates from these tender knots locally & to broader areas often distant from the trigger point itself. This is known as referred pain. The pain you have in one location is associated with trigger points from another location. The pain pattern between the trigger point & the pain itself is the referral zone. An example of this is… trigger points in the scalenes (muscles located in your neck) often refer pain to your wrist & hand. The referral zone being your arm and chest.

Compression of a trigger point may cause local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response (not the same as muscle spasm). A spasm involves contraction of the entire muscle. A trigger point involves contraction in only a small part. A spasm can be relaxed in a matter of minutes. Trigger points don’t give up that easily. Latent trigger points also exist but do not refer pain actively. Trigger points may also refer to other trigger points; satellite trigger points are trigger points along the referral zone. Sometimes they can resolve on their own without treatment when the primary trigger point is deactivated. At the same time satellites can be difficult to deactivate if the primary is overlooked.

Trigger points may restrict range of motion by limiting muscle’s ability to lengthen. Other symptoms of dysfunction caused by trigger points include but not limited to- muscle stiffness, weakness, edema, nausea, dizziness, decreased range of motion & postural distortions. Trigger points are caused by MANY factors, & most if not all people have them.

Trigger point massage therapy may relieve the source of pain through various techniques according to your therapist, such as cycles of isolated pressure & release. James uses a deep tissue stroking technique to the trigger point itself in combination with Swedish relaxation massage. This combination creates conditions that promote healing. The body itself is the healer. The recipient actively participates in the session, through deep breathing & communicating with the therapist of location, pain patterns, & intensity of the discomfort. The idea is to stay in the “hurt so good” zone in which the recipient can stay relaxed & “let go” of the trigger point. Sometimes you may feel the trigger point release during the therapy session. Other times it may release later. It is important that the therapist doesn’t overwork the trigger point or try to force release. Trigger points release on their own when they get frequent daily treatment. James may educate you on ways you can self treat in between massage therapy sessions.

A significant decrease in pain & increased range of motion & blood circulation can be experienced after just one session. Receiving relaxation massage combined with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help manage stress from mild to chronic injuries. Trigger point therapy is highly successful in restoring muscle condition and function.