Most people call trigger points ‘knots’ and that’s not a bad description for what they feel like since they are a small tight area of the musculature commonly located at certain ‘myofascial hotspots’.
For a trigger point to be genuine, it must have what is known as a pain referral pattern. There is a specific feeling of pain (often quite intense) that radiates from a trigger point to certain other areas and each muscle can have one or more trigger points and one or more referral patterns.
Due to the way the fascia of the body works together, there are predictable locations in the body that almost always harbour trigger points. Some common ones being behind the shoulder blades (Infraspinatus), the lower back (Quadratus Lumborum, Erector Spinae), the buttock region (Piriformis, Gluteus Medius and Minimus), the side of the pelvis (TFL) and the forearm just near the elbow (forearm extensors) to name a few.
When the Massage Therapist has found a trigger point, pressure is applied until the pain recedes and ideally vanishes all together. If it is too intense for either the client or the therapist to sustain this pressure then it can be applied in segments of 10-15 seconds. It can be quite remarkable feeling the trigger point ‘dissolve’ and the extreme pain that was there before vanish.
It’s best to only release a few trigger points per session as it is postulated that a client’s body can experience a trigger point overload. Also worth noting is that trigger points are quite often a symptom of a deeper issue in the musculature, for example the trigger points on the posterior shouler blade (Infraspinatus) could be caused by tight muscles in the front of the body such as the Pectoralis Major that are pulling the shoulders in and forward and thus over stretching the Infraspinatus. In the long run, just treating the trigger points will not solve this underlying issue. A more intelligent approach would be to release the tight muscles that are protracting the shoulders and refer the client to a personal trainer who could plan a strength program to activate the muscles needed to pull the shoulder back into a healthier position. This approach will be more likely to provide lasting relief from the pain of the dysfunctional fascia than just release the trigger points themselves.
To book a Trigger Point Massage with Oak McIlwain:
Call 0449 264 980 or
Choose ‘Remedial Massage’ from the list and mention you want trigger point in the custom notes for the booking.