What Is Trigger Point Massage Therapy?

Learn About the 9 Benefits of Trigger Point Massage Therapy

Trigger point massage therapy is the best way to treat muscle tightness and pain, but not everyone knows what it actually entails. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of trigger point massage, so you can decide if it’s right for you. If you have chronic pain that makes everyday life difficult, you owe it to yourself to try trigger point massage therapy at least once before giving up hope and resigning yourself to years of suffering. Read on to learn about the 9 different benefits of trigger point massage!

What Is Trigger Point Massage Therapy?
There are a wide variety of massage therapies that help to relieve pain, reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many people don’t realize there is a form of massage therapy that specifically targets trigger points, or knots, in muscle tissue. While not particularly well-known, trigger point massage therapy is growing in popularity as it is one of only two massage techniques scientifically proven to be effective in reducing pain. For patients who suffer from chronic pain due to a variety of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or fibromyalgia, trigger point massage therapy can offer temporary relief from symptoms. For those who are searching for an alternative treatment method with lasting results and few side effects, it may be worth considering trigger point therapy as part of a holistic treatment plan for your condition.

1) Can help relieve pain
A 2010 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that people with fibromyalgia who underwent trigger point therapy experienced a significant reduction in pain. Participants reported feeling less pain, which may enable them to perform more normal daily activities. This is good news for those who are struggling with fibromyalgia, as it may reduce their dependence on potentially addictive pain medications and increase their ability to live independently. A 2011 study also found that trigger point therapy may relieve lower back pain caused by muscle injury.

2) Can help with inflammation
A massage session can help relieve pain, but it can also reduce inflammation in those achy muscles. When you’re prone to muscle soreness, long hours spent at a desk or lack of sleep, a few massages might be just what your body needs to relax and heal itself naturally. The use of therapeutic massage is helpful for pain management and promoting relaxation in all kinds of patients. Some sports medicine specialists even recommend it as part of an active recovery program after strenuous exercise. Studies have shown that trigger point massage therapy helps relieve tension headaches and other types of chronic pain. This type of therapy may reduce general discomfort or pain related to arthritis and fibromyalgia as well as make symptoms less noticeable during pregnancy and menopause.

3) Helps treat headaches
There are many different techniques and types of massage. In most cases, they focus on relieving stress. When you’re stressed out, your muscles become tense and develop knots. According to Dr. Paul Haider, a trigger point massage therapist in Texas, massaging these knots is one way to help release toxins that cause headaches. Try incorporating trigger point massage therapy into your routine if you often experience tension headaches—it might be exactly what you need to get rid of them for good!

4) Helps treat insomnia
Massaging your tense muscles can help alleviate muscle pain and tension, which is likely why many people feel more relaxed after receiving a massage. If you suffer from chronic insomnia, talk to your doctor about whether regular trigger point massages could be helpful. In some cases, improving circulation in certain areas of your body (such as your head and neck) may be enough to ease uncomfortable symptoms like headaches or stiffness. It can also help improve range of motion for certain muscle groups—particularly around your chest and upper back—which helps with breathing while you sleep. In addition to relaxing muscle tissue, trigger points release endorphins—your body’s natural feel good chemicals that reduce stress levels.

5) Helps treat fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by widespread muscle pain, tenderness and fatigue. While there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, trigger point massage therapy can help manage symptoms. During a session, your therapist will use deep finger pressure to apply pressure to so-called trigger points, which are known to cause pain in other parts of your body when stimulated. By applying pressure at these points in order to alleviate pain from your fibromyalgia, you’ll be able to lead a more productive life.

6) Easy to learn for self-care at home
So what are trigger points? The Mayo Clinic describes trigger points as small, tender areas in muscles that are associated with pain, referred pain and sometimes dysfunction. Referred pain means you can feel pain in your joints or other parts of your body when you have a muscle issue—kind of like muscle sympathy pains. The most common causes are physical injury, stress and repetitive motions (such as sitting at a computer all day). To make things even more confusing, these issues can be exacerbated by lots of additional factors such as chronic illness, lack of exercise and certain health conditions. But don’t worry—we’ll show you how to treat them!

7) Can help prevent injury
There are plenty of good reasons to get a massage, but perhaps one of the best is that it can help prevent injury. From weekend warriors to professional athletes, everybody experiences muscle soreness after a workout. In fact, it’s almost inevitable if you work out hard enough or play hard enough (or both!). And while sports and exercise-induced muscle pain isn’t exactly harmful (it hurts because you worked), it can be very annoying and distracting from other things in life. The good news is that through trigger point massage therapy, more experienced therapists can manipulate your muscles in just such a way as to cause their soreness to lessen or completely go away entirely. A regular session with an experienced therapist will provide ongoing relief for chronic pains as well!

8) Improves range of motion and flexibility
The benefit that most people expect from trigger point massage is relief from pain and tightness, but what they may not know is that these massages can also improve range of motion and flexibility. In a typical session, pressure is applied to tight or painful muscles with fingers or thumbs until they relax. The entire muscle may then release, allowing it to lengthen without resistance. If you suffer from tension headaches, stiff neck, sore shoulders or even a pinched nerve (or if you just want your body to be less prone to injury), trigger point massage therapy could very well be what you’re looking for.

Final Word
In a nutshell, trigger point massage therapy is an innovative method for treating pain that has no known side effects. As it can be used to treat other conditions (like sports injuries), knowing about trigger point massage therapy’s benefits may help you make an informed decision about what kind of treatment plan is best for you. That’s why we’ve put together our list of the nine best things about trigger point massage therapy. Consider it your one-stop guide to getting better without taking drugs or visiting a doctor.

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Lynn has been writing at our blog for over two years. She currently writes about topics such as sleep, massage therapy, and cooking. Recently, she has teamed up with other bloggers to write about their life stories. Lynn is also a certified massage therapist who loves to express herself through cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest or food blogs. Lynn's blog is an outlet where she can share her passions with others while encouraging them to live the best version of themselves.

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