Trigger point therapy in Brisbane
Releasing trigger points can be the major component in treating your pain condition, and should at first be performed by clinicians who are very familiar with them. Our physiotherapists at The Headache and Pain Management Centre have been working with trigger points every day since their graduation. If trigger points are found to be the main cause of your pain condition, then releasing them correctly is absolutely paramount in order to get the results that you need.
The important thing to consider when releasing trigger points is that it must be accurate, and they must be released completely. In our many years treating patients with trigger points, these are the main reasons why patients seeing massage therapists, osteopaths or other allied health professionals can often have a bad result. There may also be sensitisation of the nervous system as well which also requires further diagnosis and treatment.
Thankfully, once trigger points are assessed and identified properly, releasing them correctly and completely is actually not that difficult, and can even be performed at home.
How does The Headache and Pain Management Centre release trigger points?
There are a number of different methods that can be used to release trigger points using direct pressure. In fact, most people have found their own “knots” in their muscles and perhaps had somebody try to release them. The Headache and Pain Management Centre have two tips of advice from our clinicians who release trigger points.
1. Use the right force
Applying direct pressure to the trigger point with the thumb or finger is the most commonly used treatment technique at The Headache and Pain Management Centre. It is most important to only apply the amount of pressure necessary to release the trigger point completely, without causing unnecessary pain.
You may have been to a physiotherapist, osteopath or massage therapist and been left with bruises, pulled up extremely sore afterwards, or felt that “they have gone too hard”. This pain is actually not needed to get a good result.
In fact, if you respond in these ways it can be an indication that your trigger points haven’t been treated correctly. Putting you through too much pain during a treatment session can actually make your pain condition worse.
At The Headache and Pain Management Centre, we use just the right amount of pressure with our fingers – while it can be uncomfortable and reproduce familiar symptoms (which tells us we have the right location), the discomfort should ease in just 45-60 seconds.
2. Use the right angle
Being accurate is the best way to release a trigger point, with a thumb or finger, with the most comfort. When a trigger point is pushed in the right direction, it will be tender at the start of the technique, but then gradually ease off to just the feeling of the finger being on your skin. If the pressure is not applied at the right angle, then the trigger point will not release – and you will feel that “the pain hasn’t changed”.
When releasing trigger points, our physiotherapists will constantly communicate with you during your session, to get your feedback about how your pain is responding to our pressure. This is paramount because only you can tell us if your pain is decreasing as we hold the technique.
Releasing trigger points with dry needling
Dry needling is an extremely effective way to release trigger points, especially if releasing them using just the fingers or thumbs hasn’t worked, or the affected muscles are too deep to get access to.
Find out more about how dry needling can help you at our dedicated webpage here.
The spray and stretch method of releasing trigger points
One of the lesser used methods of releasing a muscle involves using a vapocoolant spray, or other cold stimulus such as ice, on the skin in conjunction with a stretch. By immediately making the skin over the top of an active trigger point cooler, it sends impulses to the spinal cord to “turn down the volume” of any locally generated pains.
By combining the use of a coolant spray with a stretch, it allows the muscle to relax and restores movement. In other words, the spray and stretch technique distracts your nervous system so that a painful muscle can be treated more effectively.
This technique, as described in The Trigger Point Manual, is extremely effective for use in muscles that are either too sore to touch (such as immediately after a whiplash injury), or muscles that are deep under organs (such as the iliopsoas).
To find out more about trigger point releases or to make an appointment, fill out the form above or contact The Headache and Pain Management Centre on 1300 16 55 33.