Trigger points (TPs), also known as trigger sites, or muscle knots, are hyperirritable spots in the connective tissue (fascia) that attaches, surrounds, and separates muscles and internal organs throughout the body. TPs are caused by a small micro-spasm (misfiring) in the muscle that creates knots in tight bands of muscle fibers. These knots prevent oxygen from reaching the muscle and may cause toxic substances to build-up, resulting in pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion.
There are more than 620 potential TPs in the human body. These major and minor trigger points show up in the same places in everybody. Most trigger points remain inactive and don’t cause any problems. Conversely however, when activated, TPs can be a significant source of chronic pain and negatively affect one’s flexibility and ease of movement.
Apart from pain, TPs may cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and a restriction in the range of movement for a body part. Depending on where TPs are located, they can also cause sinus congestion, dizziness, earaches, nausea, heartburn, and may result in depression if pain has become chronic. Active TPs can negatively impact basic activities such as walking, standing, reaching, lifting, bending, sitting, as well as more complex tasks like driving, athletic performance, or various leisure activities.
Activation of trigger points can happen for many different reasons. These include acute muscle overload, repetitive movements, or chronic posturing (i.e.: holding the head forward while looking down to a cell phone or computer) trauma to a region, or a car crash which can cause multiple TPs instantly. Other causes may include psychological stress, chronic inflammation, disease, or other imbalances within the body system.
TPs are the basis of chronic muscle pain and when left untreated can wreak havoc in the body. Massage Therapists who learn to locate and release TPs, can help many people overcome the cause of long term (5-20 years) chronic pain issues.
Healing Hands’ Trigger Point Therapy course explores the many causes of trigger points and uses guided hands-on practice to teach students how to search for, reveal and identify Trigger Points in their own body as well as those of their clients. Students will learn and practice proven techniques to release trigger points can relieve the pain, stiffness, and dysfunction they create. The course empowers therapists to restore normal function to a muscle or group of muscles affected in their clients. It also provides an excellent self-care modality for massage therapists who wish to assure a long, pain-free career in massage therapy.
Trigger Point Therapy is a valuable skill that can be used to improve anyone’s quality of life, fitness level and over-all health and well-being. To learn more about Trigger Point Therapy or any of the other Holistic Health courses offered at Healing Hands please visit us online to https://hhs.edu/ or call us at (800)355.6463.