Discover the healing benefits of Trigger Point Therapy, a go-to massage technique for targeting muscle knots and chronic pain. Perfect for athletes and active folks here in Edmonton, this guide dives into common trigger points, how the therapy works, its benefits, and special tips for pregnant women.
Explore how this natural treatment complements other services like sports massage, deep tissue massage, and hot stone massage to keep you moving freely and comfortably.
What’s a Trigger Point, Anyway?
A trigger point is a localized area of muscle tension that forms due to overuse or stress. Located often near joints or high-tension areas, these points can cause referred pain, making other parts of the body ache unexpectedly.
Imagine a muscle working overtime until it forms a tiny, painful knot.
That’s a trigger point.
These knots tend to hang out near joints or in areas with high muscle tension. And they’re tricky—they can send pain to other parts of your body, making you ache where you least expect it.
Different Types of Trigger Points
Meet the two main characters in the Trigger Point story: active and latent.
Active trigger points are the loud ones—they make you feel constant or on-and-off pain.
On the other hand, latent trigger points are the quiet types. They only say “ouch” when you press them.
Active trigger points can really interrupt your day, making even simple tasks feel like a chore. Latent ones may seem harmless, but they can turn active if they’re triggered by stress, injury, or muscle tension.
So, whether you’re dealing with constant aches or just occasional discomfort, understanding these trigger points is your first step to feeling better. Ready to learn about the most common culprits?
Here’s a list of 20 common trigger point locations and common issues related to each:
- Temporalis – (Temporal muscle) Grinding teeth or chewing gum
- Trapezius – (Upper back muscle) Poor posture or overuse from weightlifting
- Sternocleidomastoid – (Neck muscles) Whiplash or poor neck posture
- Masseter – (Jaw muscles) Teeth clenching/grinding during sleep or stress
- Levator Scapulae – (Shoulder blade muscles) Overuse due to repetitive movements such as swimming strokes or poor posture
- Gluteus Maximus – (Buttock muscle) Running or cycling long distances without proper stretching before or after
- Iliopsoas – (Hip flexor muscles) Sitting for extended periods can cause these to shorten leading to trigger points
- Piriformis – (Hip rotator muscle) Rowing exercises with improper form could lead towards piriformis syndrome. You likely know this as “sciatica”
- Soleus – (Calf Muscle) Distance running on hard surfaces without proper rest intervals in between sessions or lack of stretching may exacerbate issues here!
- Pectoralis Major & Minor – (Major/Minor Chest Muscles) Weightlifting focusing chest area increasing chances experiencing upper cross syndrome.
- Diaphragm – (Respiratory Muscle) Shallow breathing patterns through mouth rather than nose could lead towards tightness within this region.
- Adductors – (Inner Thigh Muscles) Hockey players often experience pain caused by adductor strain due to rapid changes in direction while skating.
- Latissimus Dorsi – (Upper Back Muscles) Baseball pitchers often experience pain caused by latissimus dorsi injuries because of throwing motion involved.
- Quadratus Lumborum – (Lower back muscles) Golfers frequently have issues with their quadratus lumborum due to twisting motions involved during swings.
- Rectus Abdominis – (Abdominal Muscles) Heavy lifting at work combined with age-related wear-and-tear may contribute toward rectus abdominis problems later down line!
- Supraspinatus – (Rotator Cuff Muscle) Swimming requires high usage for supraspinatus which ultimately leads towards painful impingement syndromes if not taken care properly!
- Infraspinatus – (Rotator Cuff Muscle) Tennis players might feel infraspinatus pain when they serve repeatedly resulting in tennis elbow symptoms.
- Teres Minor – (Rotator Cuff Muscle) Badminton players are prone to teres minor injuries since it’s required constantly shifting positions quickly sudden bursts speed intensity!
- Teres Major – (Underarm Muscle) Bodybuilders should be careful when working out on bench press machines since teres major is heavily used throughout movement itself causing potential harm if not done correctly!
- Subscapularis – (Rotator cuff muscle) Water polo athletes tend to suffer subscapularis strain from constant overhead arm movements used when treading water.
Read more about trigger points on Physiopedia.
How Does it Work?
In a Trigger Point Therapy session, our therapist gets right to the heart of the problem.
They press down on those painful knots for a few seconds and then slowly let go. It’s like a mini “reset button” for your muscles.
This isn’t just about pressure; it’s a healing dance between your muscle and increased blood flow. Imagine fresh, oxygen-rich blood rushing in to say, “Hey, let’s fix this!” As a bonus, this process helps your body get rid of waste faster, which means less inflammation for you.
So, when you walk out of our massage clinic, expect to feel lighter, looser, and way more comfy. Your muscles will thank you, and honestly, you’ll want to thank them right back for feeling so good!
Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy
If you’re tired of aches and pains, Trigger Point Therapy might just be your new best friend. The best part? No meds needed! This therapy is a natural way to feel better, especially if you’re active in sports or have a physically demanding job.
Sure, you might feel a bit sore right after, but that fades fast. Unlike some other massages, there’s no lasting ouch to worry about. It’s a solid pick for long-term relief from all sorts of discomforts.
Here’s What You Can Expect:
- Pain Relief
Imagine feeling less sore after your weekend tennis match or hiking adventure.
- Improved Mobility
Move easier and more fluidly, whether you’re a golfer or a construction worker.
- Reduced Inflammation
Perfect for athletes and triathletes to keep those muscles in tip-top shape.
- Better Flexibility
A big win if you love sports like swimming or baseball that need a good range of motion.
- No Medication Needed
Keep that medicine cabinet shut. This is all-natural relief.
- Quick Recovery
Ideal for sports like rowing or cycling where you need to bounce back fast for the next session.
- Long-Term Comfort
If you’re into sports like water polo or baseball, this therapy helps manage chronic aches over time.
For athletes and active folks, Trigger Point Therapy is just the starting line. To really keep those muscles happy:
- Try a sports massage for overall conditioning—great for runners and swimmers.
- Opt for a deep tissue massage to target muscle knots—perfect if you’re into weightlifting or hockey.
- Or indulge in a hot stone massage for deep relaxation after a demanding triathlon or canoeing adventure.
Can Trigger Point Therapy Be Used When Pregnant?
If you’re expecting, you might be wondering if Trigger Point Therapy is on the “yes” list. Good news—it can be! But you’ll want a therapist who’s trained in the unique needs of moms-to-be.
Pregnancy makes your body sensitive in new ways. Blame it on the hormones or the extra weight you’re carrying. That’s why it’s super important for your therapist to tread lightly, especially on those trigger points. We’re talking gentle pressure, not the deep tissue stuff.
So, how does this fit into the bigger massage picture? Well, pregnancy massage is a different ballgame, as we discuss in our article, “What is the difference between a massage and a prenatal massage?”. It’s all about keeping you and baby comfy and safe.
Now, you might be curious about deep tissue massage while pregnant. Check out our article, “Can you receive a deep tissue massage while pregnant?”. Spoiler alert: deep tissue techniques are generally a no-go during pregnancy, but there are other ways to find relief.
And don’t worry, your therapist will steer clear of any spots that could trigger contractions. We’re all about making this a relaxing, beneficial experience for both you and your little one.
Remember, always chat with your healthcare provider before diving into any new therapy, especially when you’re expecting. Safety first!
In a nutshell, Trigger Point Therapy is your go-to for targeting and taming those pesky muscle knots. Whether you’re an athlete, a weekend warrior, or simply dealing with the aches and pains of everyday life, this specialized massage technique offers a natural, effective path to relief. From understanding what trigger points are to exploring the benefits and considerations for pregnant women, we’ve covered all the bases.
So why not take the next step? Consult with our certified therapists in Edmonton and discover our massage services that will keep you moving comfortably and freely.