Information about the value of Trigger Point Therapy for muscle pain (and migraines)...
Tender points occur when muscle fibers contract into small, tense spots within taut bands of tissue. “You can’t feel the tender points themselves as much as the taut bands,” explains Sauer, author (with Mary Biancalana) of Trigger Point Therapy for Low Back Pain (New Harbinger). “You look for these taut bands and then for the tender points, and see if that may explain the pain the person is experiencing.”
Muscles filled with tender points are less flexible and injury-prone. This inflexibility can also put pressure on nearby joints and pull the body out of alignment. “I once treated someone whose muscles and fascia [the connective tissue that surrounds muscles] seemed to be shrink-wrapped onto their bones,” Sauer says.
Pain caused by tender points often radiates in what are called referral patterns. “More than 70% of the time, trigger points are not located where the patient feels symptoms. For example, if someone has pain in the temple it could be coming from muscles in the back of the neck, the front of the neck or the top of the shoulder, besides muscles in the temple area,” says DeLaune, author of several books on trigger point therapy including Trigger Point Therapy for Repetitive Strain Injury (New Harbinger), to be released in May. Trigger points tightening near a nerve can cause symptoms that include referred tingling or numbness.
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