Trigger Point Therapy is safe and effective in alleviating myofascial (muscle) pain and syndromes that erroneously, or by default, become categorized under such headings as tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, dysmennorhea, TMJ, fibrositis, trick knee, whiplash, etc. Mainstream clinical research has shown that trigger points are often responsible for headaches, muscle weakness and pain, restricted range of motion, tearing, sweating, salivation, dizziness and blurred vision.
What is a Trigger Point?
Trigger Points are tender spots in muscles (and other types of tissue) that are extremely sensitive to touch and possess the nasty ability to refer pain and other symptoms and sensation to distant parts of the body. For instance, the all-too-common trigger points in the muscle between the neck and shoulder (the trapezius) often send pain shooting up back of the neck, around the ear and above the eye.
What causes Trigger Points?
Normal, healthy muscles contain no TPs. Muscles develop TPs following acute trauma, chilling or chronic overload. Acute trauma may consist of falls, car accidents, joint sprains, a direct blow to the muscle or abnormal excessive exercise, such as packing when moving or engaging in a strenuous bout of weekend athletics. A cold draft such as that from air conditioning or open window may activate latent TPs in tired muscles.
Trigger points also develop in muscles that are chronically overloaded by poor posture, especially while working, or repeating muscle movements as in typing, playing the violin, or even knitting. Structural discrepancies, like uneven legs and pelvic bones, or short arms on a long upper body, often produce a chronic mechanical stress that activates TPs.
How is a trigger point inactivated?
There are 5 method for putting trigger points to rest: 1) “stretch and spray” 2) procaine injection 3) ultrasound at low intensities 4) deep finger pressure (Myotherapy) or 5) properly applied massage. When the involved TPs are located and inactivated, the pain often disappears immediately. But with chronic cases involving TPs in several muscles over a long period of time, sustained relief usually requires successive treatments.
The stretch and spray technique consists of applying a cold spray (vapocoolant) to a TP and its pain reference area while simultaneously and slowly stretching the muscle to its full normal length.
For stubborn TPs in areas inaccessible to passive stretch, .5% procaine solution injections, followed by stretch and spray can do the trick.
Deep finger pressure in TPs was popularized by Bonnie Prudden in her books on Myotherapy. Prudden recommends seven seconds of sustained pressure on TPs to erase them. Other therapists press the point until the referred pain subsides. It’s important to note, massage (as well as other TP treatments) is only effective if you know what you’re doing. Vigorous massage of hyperirritable trigger points may markedly increase pain.
Why should I choose John Zlatic?
John Zlatic’s story began 24 years ago when he met Janet Travell, JFK’s personal physician and Trigger Point pioneer. He embraced the discipline, earning his certification, after his reporting job on the Daily Transcript in Dedham, Mass., exacerbated an old football injury. He was amazed and intrigued by how trigger point therapy “fixed’ his arm, so he switched careers. For the past seventeen years he has been helping San Diegans recover from myofascial pain.