What Is a Trigger Point Massage?

As Eastern and Western philosophy in medicine start to interact with higher frequency, you will start to hear more about alternate medical therapies: for instance, trigger point massage. Trigger point massage is just one of many types of massage, and it has a definite purpose. Before you decide to seek out trigger point massage as a treatment method, it’s important to understand what it is and what it is for.

Trigger Point Massage Defined

Trigger point massage is a specific massage technique that is used for pain relief. The term ‘trigger point’ was developed in the early 1940’s by Dr. Janet Travell. Dr. Travell used the term to describe certain points within the body where the muscular system harbors knots or nodules that cause pain.

Sometimes the pain in a certain muscle area is actually caused by a latent pain in another area of the muscular system. It’s not uncommon for a person to be unaware of the origination of the pain. However, a skilled therapist will be able to feel the abnormality of the muscle and provide the appropriate treatment where necessary.

Trigger Point Massage Techniques

When a massage therapist uses trigger point techniques as a treatment modality, there is usually a cold treatment used in conjunction with the massage. For example, the massage therapist may use ice packs or an icing gel to numb the muscle area, or trigger point, where work is to be done.

Another technique that is used in trigger point massage is pressure. In order to relieve the pain in the trigger point areas, pressure is applied directly to the sore spots. This pressure should be at a consistency that provides ultimate relief, although it may have an uncomfortable feeling initially. The therapist should then check other areas for secondary nodules and apply pressure as necessary.

When Is Trigger Point Massage Used?

Trigger point massage is a great option if you have been in an accident or experienced some type of trauma that has resulted in injury or loss of range of motion. Specified pain can be treated with trigger point massage with pain free results. Other times trigger point massage is a good option is in the event of poor posture, chronic stress or various diseases that cause consistent muscular pain. Although there can be relief after just one trigger point massage treatment, it typically takes more than one treatment for long lasting results.

How Does Trigger Point Massage Work?

Trigger point massage works the same as other types of massage in that it increases blood flow to the injured or pained area. The application of pressure to the knotted areas helps to break them up and allow blood to start flowing to the area again.

Where to Get Trigger Point Massage

You can find massage therapists that practice trigger point massage at chiropractor’s offices, spas, and many other locations. The key is to find a massage therapist that is licensed and knowledgeable.

If at any time during trigger point massage therapy you experience severe pain, you should alert the massage therapist immediately. Trigger point massage should not be done before an exam and medical history is taken.


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