Understanding Trigger Points (Part II)

I wrote last week about trigger points, how they are somewhat hard to define and that this lack of definition has led to many different theories, and an overall lack of consensus, as to how to locate and treat these problematic areas. Figuring out exactly what trigger points are and how to deal with them, definitively, is an extremely important endeavor given the large amount of impact trigger points can have on the general well-being of an individual.

Indeed, while we all experience times of muscle tension, trigger points are different as they are tender and hypersensitive to the touch and, much worse, they can cause referred pain and tenderness in other areas of the body. This means that the trigger point may actually cause irritated areas in places that are completely unconnected to the trigger point itself.

The pattern of this referred pain is something that massage therapists and chiropractors have tried to find out, but that the medical community is skeptical about. This skepticism comes from the inconsistent studies about trigger points, and a lack of knowledge about how they arise and what produces the referred pain they are believed to cause.

Again, a generally agreed upon consensus on what causes trigger points and how to treat them would be a boon for massage therapy or any discipline, as it could unlock many therapeutic secrets about a pain that can be extreme, long-lasting, and have devastating consequences. In my next blog entry I’ll talk about what these consequences are and the ways massage therapy currently goes about treating trigger points.

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