Trigger Point Therapies

A Trigger Point is described as a hyperirritable point within a tight band of muscle; a ‘knot’ in the muscle tissue which can cause severe discomfort and/or pain. Such points may develop following an acute muscular strain or traumatic event such as a car accident, a fall, facture or excessive exercise. Severe overloading of the muscles used to maintain posture due to poor sitting, working or sleeping habits, or any repetitive movements may also result in the formation of trigger points.

There are two forms of therapy directly aimed at the release of trigger points in the body:

(a) Trigger Point Dry Needling

Trigger Point Dry Needling is a scientifically proven form of treatment for chronic pain. Very fine, single use sterile needles (acupuncture needles) are inserted into painful muscle spasms (trigger points), breaking the contraction and allowing the muscle to heal naturally.

Pain affects nerves, muscles and bones; when a nerve is damaged, it irritates the muscle attached to it which will then spasm, pulling on the connected bone. When a needle is placed directly into the spasm, the muscle will relax and pressure will be released from the adjoining nerves and bones. Pain will be significantly reduced or will disappear completely, leaving the nerves, muscles and bones to heal. As muscles are also attached to discs, ligaments and tendons, these too will be restored.

Usually, a certain degree of pain relief will be instantaneous as the muscle begins to relax and ‘lets go’. The full effects of a dry needle treatment are usually realised in about 7-10 days as the affected tissue completes a repair and regeneration process.

(b) Manual Trigger Point Therapy

Manual Trigger Point Therapy is a physical soft tissue therapy which includes direct digital pressure and massage. In this case, the finger or thumb of the therapist becomes the pressure applicator, manipulating the muscle spasm until it relaxes. The ultimate aim of manual therapy is to teach the patient to effectively self-manage the pain and dysfunction.

Paul Thornley: 087-908-1721