What is Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger points are muscle areas characterized by hypoxia, occurring following an overload or traumatic stretching of muscle fibers for example. They are characterized by (IMTT, 2022) :
• Muscle weakness.
• Movement restrictions.
• Proprioceptive and coordination disorders.
• Autonomous vegetative reactions.
Myofascial trigger point therapy (MTrP) consists of treating painful and contracted areas in the muscle tissue, often responsible for pain and functional limitations of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. They affect the muscles, hence “myo” (from the Greek “muscle”) as much as the fascia, hence “fascial”, (soft tissues that make up the omnipresent connective tissue in the human body. They form a continuous matrix in three dimensions providing structural support to the whole-body. Fascia interpenetrates and surrounds all the organs, muscles, bones, and nerve fibers of the body). Myofascial Trigger points are among the most common causes of chronic pain in the musculoskeletal system, known as myofascial pain. They can appear anywhere in the body. A professional Trigger point therapy resolves contractures and thus pain in a lasting way.
The goals of trigger point treatment are :
• Improving vascularity within the trigger zone.
• Stretching the muscle cord.
• Relaxation of surrounding fascia.
There are several possibilities to treat a Trigger point. Manual Trigger point therapy and Dry Needling® technique are the two most used treatments. For manual Trigger point therapy, musculature, fascia and passive structures are treated with specific techniques. With regard to Dry Needling®, single-use acupuncture needles are used to influence the pathological muscle area, in order to inform the tissue, which makes it possible to restore normal blood circulation in the contracted muscle area and to remove pain. The more precisely the trigger point is treated, the better the result of this therapy will be.