What is Trigger Point Therapy?

Trigger Point Therapy is a Remedial Massage technique that focuses on treating localised areas of pain known as Trigger Points, more commonly known as knots. These knots can cause discomfort and pain which is either localised or refers to other parts of the body and ultimately restricts movement.

practitioner applying trigger point therapy for leg pain

What is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is a hypersensitive area in a tight band of muscle fibres that, when compressed, can lead to pain and discomfort. These can be caused by a multitude of circumstances, including overuse, injury, stress and bad posture.

Trigger points can manifest as local muscular discomfort, tightness, or soreness, as well as referred pain in other locations of the body. Referred pain, is typically described as an aching, throbbing pain that develops in another part of the body that is relative to where a trigger point is. For instance, if the trigger point is in the neck, it depends on exactly which muscle is involved, but the pain referral pattern may be up or down the neck, into the arm or even to the opposite side of the head!
In addition to pain, if you suffer from significant tension and trigger points, you are also likely to experience a reduced range of motion, muscular weakness, and muscle spasms.  

If not dealt with effectively, trigger points can become chronic and significantly impact your quality of life as well as lead to other health complaints.

What can Trigger Point Therapy Help With?

Trigger Point Therapy is utilised to reduce muscular discomfort throughout the body and the conditions that develop or coincide with this including:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Neck discomfort
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia

How Does Trigger Point Therapy Work?

Trigger Point Therapy works by applying stimulation to the trigger points that develop at specific sites on muscles. Pressure or other stimulation is applied to alleviate discomfort and restore normal mobility by releasing the tension in the knots. To resolve this tension and associated symptoms, various stimulation can be used including:

  • Direct pressure typically with hands, elbows or specialised tools
  • Cupping Therapy
  • Electrotherapy such as TENS therapy
  • Traction
  • Acupuncture
cupping for trigger point therapy

Acupuncture and Trigger Point Therapy

Acupuncture is frequently combined with Trigger Point Therapy to create a comprehensive and effective treatment in releasing the trigger points and any other symptoms or pains that are experienced due to the tightness in the affected muscle tissue.

By stimulating the nervous system and myofascial system, Acupuncture can assist to release trigger points which have an effect to alleviate pain, increase circulation, and decrease inflammation in the affected region.

acupuncture for trigger point therapy

The Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger Point Therapy is successful because it targets hypersensitive taut bands or ‘knots’ in muscles, which are the source of pain and suffering in so many situations that we see at our clinic. Trigger Point Therapy aids in the relaxation of these tight muscles and knots which leads to an improvement in overall health in so many ways, including:

1. Improved Circulation

Improving circulation. When muscles are taut, they may impede blood circulation. This can result in a variety of issues, including tiredness, headaches, and dizziness. Trigger Point Therapy can assist in releasing contracted muscles and enhancing circulation.

2. Reduced Stress and Tension

Muscle strain can also contribute to stress and tension. Trigger Point Therapy can help alleviate tension and stress through the release of chronically contracted muscles. This often results in an overall sense of relaxation, by releasing endorphins and soothing the nervous system.

3. Enhanced Mobility and Flexibility

If your muscles are stiff, it may be difficult to move freely, decreasing your range of motion and making it challenging to perform daily tasks that we otherwise are able to do without much thought. There are so many scenarios where people suffer from decreased range of motion, whether it be bending over to pick up items or simple things like opening our mouths with ease. By releasing contracted muscles to improve mobility and flexibility, Trigger Point Therapy can help so many people get back to the simple things that they have previously taken for granted.

4. Reduces Risk of Injury

Muscular knots can lead to muscular imbalances which cause general instability, and an increased risk of injury. Trigger Point Therapy helps improve muscular balance by releasing the tension in these knots, resulting in enhanced posture, a better range of motion, and decreases the chance of injury.

5. Higher Energy Levels

When your muscles are tense, you may simply feel more fatigue due to everything being that much harder to do due to constant tension throughout your body. Literally, this is because the body must compensate for the tightness it’s experiencing by working harder. By significantly reducing tension throughout the body, Trigger Point Therapy can assist with increasing energy levels.

6. Better Sleep

We know all too well that tight muscles make sleeping difficult due to multiple reasons including pain, discomfort, and the impact of this on our mind which can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. By decreasing muscular tension and pain which leads to improved comfort and relaxation, Trigger Point Therapy can assist in improving the quality and duration of sleep.

7. Pain Relief From Headaches

Due to so many people developing poor posture through working at a computer, driving and frequent phone use, the head and neck are one of the most common areas in the body for tense muscles. This can cause a great deal of strain and stress, and progress into headaches far too frequently for some people. By reducing tension in these areas which is the culprit for tension-type headaches in many situations, Trigger Point Therapy effectively alleviates headaches.

8. Improve Posture

Tight muscles can cause bad posture by pulling the body out of alignment. After careful assessment to diagnose which muscles are causing postural issues, Trigger Point Therapy is a powerful treatment that can be used to reduce tight muscles before applying appropriate stretching techniques to elongate previously shortened muscles and restore posture.

9. Reduce Muscle Soreness Post-Workout

If you work out regularly, then you will understand the value of a post-workout stretching program. Nevertheless, even with a decent stretching program, you may still suffer some discomfort after training. This is because muscles are still stiff after exercise due to a build-up of lactic acid and repetitive movements taking their toll. Trigger Point Therapy can assist in releasing contracted muscles and help you feel better after training faster.

Looking for a Solution for Your Pain?

At our clinic, we use a combination of therapies, including Trigger Point Therapy, Remedial Massage, and Acupuncture amongst other techniques to provide a comprehensive and effective approach to reducing tension, pain and improving overall health.

Our team of practitioners are expertly trained and can appropriately diagnose the underlying causes of pains, injuries, and discomfort, to provide effective treatment that achieves positive and lasting results.

For more information on how we can help in your situation, please get in touch with our team by calling (02) 4709 6727 or simply secure a spot to see a practitioner today by booking online now. We’re here to help!