Beginning in 2023, Intuitive Kneads will offer client education workshops. Participate to learn self-care practices that are specific to your individuality.
With consistency developing your own self care plan can be invigorating and help you feel your best.
What are trigger points (TPs)?
A trigger point is simply a small contraction knot in the muscle. This knot feels like a pea buried deep in the muscle, and can feel as big as a thumb. It maintains a hard contraction on the muscle fibers connected to it, thus causing a tight band that can also be felt in the muscle. These trigger points in muscles and in the thin wrapping around each muscle [called fascia] are called myofascial trigger points. Trigger points can also occur in other soft tissues such as skin, ligaments, tendons, and also in scar tissue.
Are Trigger Points the same as a muscle spasm, strain or tear?
No, a Trigger Point is not the same thing as a muscle spasm. A spasm involves a violent contraction of the whole muscle, whereas a Trigger Point is contraction in only a small part of a muscle. A strain or tear involves physical damage to the muscle or tendon fibers.
Why are they called trigger points?
Pulling the trigger of a gun makes a noise in the gun but it also sends out a bullet that causes pain at a distant target site. Pressing firmly on a muscle Trigger Point hurts right where you are pressing, making you jump, wince and pull away. But, more importantly, Trigger Points also send ['refer'] pain or tenderness, sometimes quite far away. So, for example, a headache may not be caused by a problem in the head itself, but have been sent to the head from a Trigger Point on the side of the neck. Never assume the problem is at the place that hurts.
What does this referred pain feel like?
The referred pain caused by Trigger Points is usually steady, dull and aching, often deep. It may occur at rest, or only on movement. It varies from being a low-grade discomfort to being severe.
Are Trigger Points common?
Myofascial trigger points are among the most common, yet poorly recognized and inadequately managed, causes of musculoskeletal pain seen in medical practice. Unfortunately, many general practitioners and orthopedic surgeons do not know about Trigger Points, and since they do not show on X-Rays or scans, the patient may be told there is nothing wrong with them or that there is nothing that can be done to help fix their pain.
What common conditions are thought to be caused by referred pain?
Trigger Points are known to cause or contribute to headaches, neck and jaw pain, low back pain, sciatica, and many kinds of joint pain, tendonitis, bursitis, or ligament injury.
How does massage work to get rid of trigger points?
To treat trigger points, massage therapists use a term called Ischemic Compression. Ischemia means a lack of blood supply, with associated tissue irritation and congestion. The purpose of ischemic compression is to deliberately increase the blockage of blood to an area so that, upon release, there will be a surge of blood. This washes away waste products and supplies necessary oxygen to help the affected tissue heal. This increase of blood flow to the area is called a hyperemia and is usually a noticeable reddened area on the skin, that may be warm to the touch.
Stage 1: The Acute or Inflammatory Stage. (Day 1-3)
Immediately after an injury, inflammation occurs. Inflammation is characterized by pain, swelling, and redness that happens at the injury site. This natural response by the body is its way of protecting the injured part of the body and releasing chemicals that will help with the pain and discomfort. Scar tissue also starts to form at this stage of healing, and RICE is highly recommended. RICE is Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevation. Depending on the severity of the injury, gentle movements and/or physical therapy may be beneficial which can aid in pain management and healing.
An acute injury may include some or all of the following:
INFLAMMATION = Redness and Swelling
Sudden, severe pain
The inability to weight bear (for example: not being able to step on your foot without pain.)
Decreased mobility or Range of Motion (for example: you suddenly can't lift your arm up as far as you used to.)
Visible dislocation or break of a bone
Red, black, blue bruising
Stage 2: The Sub Acute Stage. (Day 4 - 3 Weeks)
In this stage the body starts to grow more tissues, and starts repairing what was damaged in the first place. Since the tissues are new, you must be very careful not to re- damage them, as this could result in even more pain than the original trauma. Mild exercises when done right can help to strengthen the damaged area.
An injury in the Sub Acute Stage may include some of all of the following:
Fragile scar tissue forming (Your body is regenerating and developing new tissue)
Yellow, green or brown bruising
Range of motion increases
Stage 3: The Chronic Stage (3 Weeks –Weeks, Months or Years)
The area that sustained injury is now well into healing and scar tissue has now been modified by the body. By this point, people usually will not feel any more pain, except when overuse or the joint reaches its full range of motion. Exercise, physical therapy, and lots of joint movement are recommended.
Chronic injuries may include some or all of the following:
Pain with movement is dull or achy, not sharp
Pain at the very end of a range of movement.
Dull ache at rest
Bruising is gone
Signs of inflammation gone
Scar tissue is maturing
In older people, kyphosis is often due to weakness in the spinal bones that causes them to compress or crack. Other types of kyphosis can appear in infants or teens due to malformation of the spine or wedging of the spinal bones over time.
Mild kyphosis causes few problems. Severe kyphosis can cause pain and be disfiguring. Treatment for kyphosis depends on your age, and the cause and effects of the curvature.