What Is Trigger Point Therapy?

Published by Shauna Burchett, OTR/L on

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger Point Therapy is very effective as part of a combined approach to relieving TMJ,  neck pain, back pain, sciatica, chronic pain disorders, and symptoms related to fibromyalgia.

In Trigger Point Therapy, specific locations, or trigger points, on the muscles are held with firm pressure until they release. Once the points are released, many clients find that their original pain either disappears or is significantly reduced.

Trigger points are small areas of tightness within muscles that form tight bands and knots from the contracted muscle fibers. These can develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked. The pain that trigger points cause is generally referred to another part of the body, so 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.

History of Trigger Point Therapy

Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy, developed by Dr. Janet G. Travell, MD, is a form of neuromuscular therapy that examines and treats muscles, muscle attachments, ligaments, and connective tissues.

Current studies indicate that nerve impulses to the muscle fibers within a trigger point will not “shut off” and that trigger points require manual intervention to help them release

Shauna Burchett, OTR/L

Shauna Burchett, OTR/L is a skilled occupational therapist and the owner of Synergy Healthcare. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 1993 with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Shauna began her career as an occupational therapist specializing in traumatic head injuries. She has also worked in skilled nursing facilities specializing in long and short term geriatric rehabilitation. Shauna has been in private practice since 1998.