Understanding Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain
By Dr. Greg Fors
Do you have chronic painful trigger points or muscle knots?
FENIX self trigger point therapy products are the ideal solution!
What are trigger points or muscle knots?
Myofascial pain is typically caused by hyperirritable tissue in muscles and fascia called trigger points that are caused by trauma, repetitive stress, postural strain, emotion distress, toxicity and nutritional deficiencies. Properly applied pressure massage or trigger point therapy can release trigger points giving you instant pain relief, increased flexibility and improved performance. Learn now how to effectively remove your myofascial pain with the FENIX Rehab System, and the book by Dr. Greg Fors, "Why We Hurt".
What is a myofascial pain syndrome?
Trigger points will cause a myofascial pain syndrome by their ability to generate local tenderness and referral pain. Trigger points accomplish this by creating changes in motor nerve endings and irritation of pain receptors in myofascial tissues. (Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Mar; 81(3):212-22.) Trigger points go on to shorten your myofascial tissues causing stiffness, and they can weaken your muscles. These three primary changes, pain, stiffness and weakness caused by trigger points will create stress in your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, leading to the formation of more trigger points and increased myofascial pain. The dysfunction of trigger points and their nerve endings leads to a vicious cycle of more and more pain. This can take place in one region creating low back pain, neck pain and headaches, midback pain and shoulder pain or more commonly, trigger points can affect multiple regions at one time. In some cases, through greater dysfunction of your central nervous system, this multi-regional pain syndrome can even develop into fibromyalgia syndrome.
The FENIX Rehab Systemsby Dr. Greg Fors are the most effective self-care trigger point therapy product available for treating Myofascial Pain Syndromes.
How common are myofascial pain syndromes?
Because of the way we put stress on our bodies, from how we eat to the way we sit, stand, lift and go about our hectic life, they are very common! The national Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes has stated that 85% of all Americans will develop in their lifetime at least one episode of chronic myofascial pain of the back, neck, or extremities. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, November 12, 2003 issue, reported that more than one-third of all adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of chronic musculoskeletal pain on a daily basis. In addition, more than 90% of all musculoskeletal pain arises from a mechanical origin, that of muscle and joint dysfunction. Again, the primary culprit of this dysfunction is the myofascial trigger point, which must be removed to restore normal function and relieve pain. Trigger point therapy gets directly to the source of your chronic myofascial pain by releasing your trigger points.
What is trigger point therapy?
There are various forms of trigger point therapy, from invasive trigger point injections to gentle manual pressure release techniques. In one study, trigger point injection was compared to mechanical stimulation, the manual pressure therapy was found to be much more effective than injections (Spine. 1989 Sep; 14(9):962-4.). Manual trigger point therapy consists of deep sustained digital pressure to the trigger point using either low-pressure for long duration (about 90 seconds) or a high-pressure of short duration (about 30 seconds). Research has shown that this sustained manual pressure creates physiological changes within the myofascial tissue of the trigger point. These changes allow greater blood flow, increasing oxygen and nutrient uptake, as well as the removal of metabolic waste in the myofascial trigger point. This increases energy production in the muscle cells allowing them to fully relax and begin the natural healing process of the trigger point. These changes from trigger point therapy allow you to release the trigger points by then applying a sustained stretch to the muscle.
Self-care trigger point therapy products are an effective and convenient way to eliminate your pain and restore flexibility.
Why isn't trigger point therapy commonly utilized?
To be effective trigger point therapy involves finding and locating all the myofascial trigger points active and hidden in the region involved. If there are multi-regions involved or fibromyalgia this makes treatment all the more time consuming for the clinician. To fully rehabilitate your myofascial pain syndrome you must continue to treat these points on a daily or every other day basis for weeks or even months depending on how chronic your condition is. If your clinician takes the time to identify and treat all the involved myofascial trigger points, manual trigger point therapy is highly effective (Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Oct; 83(10):1406-14).
Even though trigger point therapy is highly effective in myofascial pain syndromes, it is underutilized for various reasons. First and foremost, your healthcare provider must be aware of and educated in the use of trigger point therapy. Second, trigger point therapy is underutilized because it is very time consuming for your clinician and third, it is one of the leading causes of repetitive stress injuries to healthcare practitioners. Also, insurance companies tend not to reimburse the healthcare professional for the necessary repetitive visits for trigger point therapy.
How you can overcome your myofascial pain?
No one has more invested in your recovery than you do, so no one is as motivated as you to take the time to find the trigger points and fully treat them. In fact one study reported in the journal Physical Therapy (2000 October; 80(10): 997-1003) found that individuals with chronic neck and upper back pain could effectively treat themselves at home. Utilizing a trigger point tool to apply pressure therapy along with sustained stretching, within one week individuals were able to overcome their myofascial pain. Through my extensive clinical experience with chronic myofascial pain disorders, I was inspired to create a self-care kit or myofascial pain disorders. This self treatment trigger point therapy tool with instructional guidebook and DVD is now available to you to once and for all conquer your myofascial pain syndrome, whether low back pain, neck pain and headaches, midback pain and shoulder pain or the global pain of fibromyalgia. The complete story of healing your pain can be found in my new book "Why We Hurt: A complete physical and spiritual guide to healing your chronic pain" by Dr. Greg Fors - order it now. You can also find detailed information on self-care for your pain in articles I have written, just click on the link below that relates to your condition or area of pain.