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For a more detailed explanation, there are many great resources, including pp. 19-23, in The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook.
- Trigger points are knots in muscles.
- They occur when part of the muscle contracts so tightly that it cannot release without outside help.
- When that part of the muscle is knotted up so tight, it keeps the rest of that part of the muscle stretched to capacity (See "muscle fiber with trigger point" above.)
- The stressed part of the muscle sends out pain signals. Sometimes the pain is located where the trigger point is, but often it is referred to another place on the body.
- There can be more than one trigger point contributing to a problem.
- Trigger points can be caused by other trigger points. These are called satellite trigger points. Be sure to take these into consideration when trouble-shooting your pain.
- Massaging the trigger point is the way to remove the knot.
- When you work a trigger point, it should "hurt good." If you work it too hard, you may temporarily make things worse. If you don't work it hard enough, there will be no benefit.
- While there is often immediate pain relief, the knots themselves will probably need several sessions of massage to deactivate. Some long-term, ongoing trigger points, need long-term, ongoing treatment. This is why I call this "pain management."
- For many people, this is not a one-time fix, but a way to deal with problems as they occur.
- It is a good idea to drink water after working your trigger points. This helps to clear out the toxins that have been trapped in the knots.