Category Archives: Trigger Points

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique
By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique, are they the same thing?

Your muscles are vital in supporting normal body movement and exercise. If you suffer from pain or discomfort associated with decreased muscle function, treatment can improve your quality of life as well as your muscles’ ability to work better for longer. Muscle Activation Techniques and Trigger Point Therapy are two similar forms of treatment but for different muscle conditions. I would always advise talking to your GP if you are at all unsure of the nature of your condition.

Areas of Focus
Muscle Activation Techniques treat different problems than Trigger Point Therapy and making the correct choice early increases the chances of successfully eliminating your condition in the shortest possible time. Muscle Activation Technique, designed to combat muscle imbalances, can improve overall function and prolong the functional effectiveness of the muscle group involved. As a contrast, trigger point therapy, is a form of alternative medicine and is generally used to alleviate the pain associated with knots in your muscles.

Application
Muscle Activation Techniques and trigger point therapy involve stimulating the affected muscles by a professional trained in the specific treatment. During trigger point therapy, trigger points are manipulated and massaged in a systematic order to relieve the pain and discomfort that occurs with tight muscles, including those in your back and shoulders. Muscle Activation Techniques uses a similar approach, in that your various muscles are treated in a specific order. The theory is that your muscles, being connected to your nervous system, need to work in harmony to prevent reduced function in certain areas of your body. With Muscle Activation Techniques, muscle problems are not massaged away, but rather treated through specific manual therapy. By working these muscles with Muscle Activation Techniques, you allow the therapist to harmonize your entire body, improving the function of your muscles as a whole.

Likely Benefits
While Muscle Activation Techniques and trigger point therapy were designed for different conditions, the benefits are similar. Both M.A.T and T.P.T improve flexibility and range of motion as well as managing pain and discomfort. Treatments can be instrumental to achieving a full range of motion without pain in your muscles and joints. Whats great is both types of therapy can improve posture and neither makes use of medication.

But Which Way To Go
The decision to use Muscle Activation Techniques or trigger point therapy will depend on your symptoms, if you suffer from tight muscles due to long hours at the computer, headaches, back pain, strain injuries, foot pain or hip pain, trigger point therapy might be the best choice. If performance in a sport or workout you have done often for many years has fallen away, Muscle Activation Techniques might be a better choice. If your flexibility and range of motion are decreasing with age, Muscle Activation Techniques may be the way forward.

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique

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Trigger Point Therapy

What Is Trigger Point Therapy?

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

What are trigger points?
A (Myofascial) trigger point is a hyper irritable and painful area. It’s called a trigger point or trigger site because it “triggers” painful responses, but a trigger point is more than just a tender muscle knot. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is found, but also causes “referred pain” in other tissues supplied by similar nerves. Trigger points are most notable in a taut band of muscles fibres. The trigger point will be the sorest point in the band. The therapist will locate and deactivate them using finger pressure. One technique is to pick up the muscle fibres in a finger pincer grip.

Here are a few symptoms you should know about:
If you have restless leg syndrome, you have TPs; if your teeth hurt, you have TPs; if your workouts plateau, you have TPs; if you have painful menses or irritable bowel syndrome, you have TPs.
Simply rubbing the surface of the skin with a massage lotion, a vibrating massage or using heat will not change the condition of a single trigger point. What it needs is sufficient deep sustained pressure to the knotted-up area.  As we work the Trigger Point, your body will undergo soft tissue release, allowing for increased blood flow, a reduction in muscle spasm and the break-up of scar tissue. It will also help remove any build-up of toxic metabolic waste. Your body will also undergo a neurological release, reducing the pain signals to the brain and resetting your neuro-muscular system to restore its proper function. In other words, everything will work the way it should again.

What You Should Know About Trigger Point Therapy?
It is used to treat painful trigger points that cause referred pain. Trigger points take time to create and it will likely take more than one session to get rid of it. These points are often areas of chronic “holding” and you need to learn how to move in different ways to keep them from recurring. Muscle Energy Technique can be enormously helpful when improving range of movement.

How Long Does It Take To Get Relief?
The length of time it takes to release a trigger point depends on several factors, one of which is how long you have had your trigger point. Other factors include the number of trigger points you have, how effective your current treatment is, and how consistently you can administer or receive treatment. Trigger points are very fickle; they need to be addressed frequently using a technique that will apply the pinpoint pressure that is needed. Attending a good massage therapist frequently enough to get a trigger point to release can become quite expensive, with my guidance I can show you how you can help yourself between treatments for faster more effective relief. What I’m saying here is that you need to take responsibility for managing your own care. From time to time, of course, you may find you need help from medical professionals. But even so, the more you know the better care you’re going to receive. This is naturally going to require some time and effort on your part, but the payoff will be faster with far better results.