TP’s were first brought to the attention of the medical world by Dr. Janet G. Travell. Dr. Travell, physician to President John F. Kennedy, is the acknowledged Mother of Myofascial Trigger Points. In fact, “Trigger Point massage, the most effective modality used by massage therapists for the relief of pain, is based almost entirely on Dr. Travell’s insights.”2 Dr. Travell’s partner in her research was Dr. David G. Simons, a research scientist and aerospace physician.
Trigger Points are very common. In fact, Travell and Simons state that TP’s are responsible for, or associated with, 75% of pain complaints or conditions.1 With this kind of prevalence, it’s no wonder that TP’s are often referred to as the “scourge of mankind”.
Trigger Points can produce a wide variety of pain complaints. Some of the most common are migraine headaches, back pain, and pain and tingling into the extremities. They are usually responsible for most cases of achy deep pain that is hard to localize.
A TP will refer pain in a predictable pattern, based on its location in a given muscle. Also, since these spots are bundles of contracted muscle fibres, they can cause stiffness and a decreased range of motion. Chronic conditions with many TP’s can also cause general fatigue and malaise, as well as muscle weakness.
Trigger points are contracted knots in muscles. They form from overload stress causing muscle fibers to become locked together in a self perpetuateing spasm. Trigger points will then produce pain, usually deep achy pain, as well as refered pain. Because of the contraction of the tissue trigger points will also produce stiffness and weakness. Trigger points are also known to mimick other symptoms such as Carple tunnel, and sciatica symptoms. Trigger points are one of, if not the most common cause of pain in the body. Regular massage therapy is not specific or deep enough to release trigger points, a specific technique of applying deep focused pressure to the heart of the knot is required for the point to release. This is called trigger point massage.
Ergonomics is the study of the posture and positioning of your body. It sounds pretty boring until you consider that millions of people are suffering from headaches every day that are related to their posture! Whether it’s an assembly line, a computer, a tablet, or your phone, you’re likely spending a lot of time looking down. Research has found that up to 20 pounds of pressure is placed on the neck for every inch the chin extends forward or down. This increased pressure can irritate the tissues of the neck leading to everything from premature degenerative changes to chronic headaches.
Why it Matters:
Maintaining a healthy posture not only helps reduce the stress and pressure on the spinal joints of your neck, it also helps dramatically reduce your headaches. The first step in regaining proper posture is to establish normal motion. This is why Chiropractic adjustments are likely to become your new best friend! Our care is focused on finding the areas of your spine that aren’t moving correctly and gently helping them regain their normal range of motion. After we’ve worked with you to restore proper movement, we can then focus on strengthening the muscles that support your neck and back. This personalized type of care is how we’ve been able to help many people (just like you!) establish better posture and reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches.
- Every inch of forward head posture adds up to 20 lbs. of pressure on your neck.
- This added pressure can contribute to tension headaches.
- Research has shown that Chiropractic care can dramatically improve your posture and, in turn, reduce your headaches.
Take a look around your workstation the next time you’re at the office. Is it set up in a way that’s ergonomically correct? If not, or if you’re not sure, just let us know! We would be happy to set up a time to come to your office, evaluate your workplace, and share our specific recommendations to help keep you and everyone you work with feeling great!
Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 34, Number 5. 2011
Efficacy of Manual and Manipulative Therapy in the Perception of Pain and Cervical Motion in Patients with Tension-Type Headache: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. (2014) 13, 4-13
Myofascial trigger points are contracted knots in muscle tissue. They are one of the most common causes of pain in the body. Most people will experience pain from trigger points at some point in there lives. Trigger point pain is usually felt as a deep achey pain. This pain may be refered In a specific pattern to other areas of the body. For example, trigger points in your hip can refer pain all the way down the leg into the foot. Trigger points will also mimick joint pain leading to misdiagnosis of arthritis. Trigger point massage therapy targets the knots specifically with focused deep work to release the area and allow the muscle to heal. Visit http://www.triggerpointmassagetherapy.info or http://www.aberdeenchiropractic.com for more information.
One of the most common issues that I treat in my clinic on a regular basis is neck stiffness and pain. This is a prevelent problem in our society in large part due to poor posture. Sitting in front of a computer at work all day, or being on you phone will eventually cause the muscles in you neck to become strained and over worked. When this happens the muscles become tight and sore. At this point all the stretching in the world won’t make a difference. A manual intervention such as trigger point massage is needed to allow the muscles to heal and function normally again.
What is a Trigger Point?
Trigger Points (TP’s) are defined as a “hyper-irritable spot within a taut band of skeletal muscle. The spot is painful on compression and can evoke characteristic referred pain and autonomic phenomena.”1
Put into plain language, a TP is a painful knot in muscle tissue that can refer pain to other areas of the body. You have probably felt the characteristic achy pain and stiffness that TP’s produce at some time in your life.
One of the most common issues that I treat on a daily basis is trigger points in the upper traps. The trapezius muscle or “traps” is a large diamond shaped muscle located in you back and neck. The upper portion of this muscle is one on the most common areas to become strained due to poor posture or emotional stress. When this
happens trigger points are sure to develop. These points will cause pain to be felt up the neck, behind the ear, and traveling to the temple. Trigger points in the upper traps are one of the most common causes of headache pain, as well as a stiff neck.