Myofascial trigger point therapy, developed by Dr. Janet G. Travell, M.D., is a form of neuromuscular therapy that examines and treats muscles, muscle attachments, ligaments, and connective tissues.
Trigger points are tight bands or knots within contracted muscle fibers. These can develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked. Current studies indicate that nerve impulses to these muscle fibers will not “shut off” and that trigger points require manual intervention to help them release. Because the pain that trigger points cause is generally referred to another part of the body, treating that pain directly is often ineffective or temporary.
Trigger point therapy requires the participation of the client to communicate the presence and intensity of pain and discomfort. There are also simple massage techniques and stretches that patients can be taught to use on themselves, preventing chronic patterns of tension in their body from becoming acute and reducing their need for therapy.