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Trigger Point Therapy

When you’re suffering from chronic or acute pain, it’s difficult to go about the daily demands of your normal life. You have most likely tried stretching, using pain creams, or taking pain medication, but the stiffness and aches persist. Trigger point therapy is an effective and healing massage treatment that helps alleviate pain and discomfort without medication.
Trigger points are tense spots in muscle tissue that frequently from the overuse of your muscles, sedentary behaviour, and trauma due to injury. If you suffer from muscle pain, reduced mobility, or conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, trigger point therapy might be the ideal treatment for you.
Book your next trigger point therapy appointment at Urban Massage & Wellness, St. Albert’s highest-rated massage clinic. Our trigger point specialists are trained at finding your trigger points and massaging away the built-up tension so you can feel relaxed and agile.

What Is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is a tense spot that forms in the muscle and surrounding myofascial tissue. The reason these tense muscle spots are called “trigger points” is because when pressure is applied to the area, pain either radiates from the tense spot to the surrounding muscle, or it triggers pain elsewhere in the body. Once this pain is triggered, it can disappear as quickly as it occurred, or it can linger for weeks and months after the fact. 

Part of the body’s reflexive defence system is to tense up when it feels an injury might occur. For example, if you’re at the gym lifting weights and you’re increasing the weight or the number of repetitions, you’ll feel soreness in your muscles afterward. This soreness is a healthy feeling that should disappear within a day or two, especially if you’ve stayed hydrated during your workout and have done a proper warm down and stretching routine. When the tension in your muscles does not disappear after several days, you might be developing trigger spots. 

How Does Trigger Point Therapy Work?

Trigger points are created when your muscles believe they are being overextended and they tense up in protest. When the muscle refuses to relax on its own, fully trained trigger point massage therapists can find the tension spots and manipulate tissue to release the tension and alleviate the associated pain. 

Most clients feel a significant amount of relief after the first appointment and want to come back for follow-up sessions! The number of massage sessions required varies from case to case based on the severity of the pain, the location of the tension, and how long the condition has been present. Our massage specialists will work with you to determine the extent of your trigger points and the right amount of pressure for your tolerance level. Pressure and a tolerable amount of pain should be expected during trigger point sessions. We ask that you let us know if you feel too much pain or discomfort during your appointment. We want you to leave your session feeling relief from the tension, but we also want you to feel comfortable and relaxed throughout your appointment.

What Causes Trigger Points to Form?

There are many common causes of trigger points forming throughout the body. Some causes are inevitable, while others are preventable with a slight change in lifestyle. Common causes of trigger point development can include, but are not limited to:

  • Ageing
  • Lack of exercise (most commonly found in individuals between the ages of 27 and 55)
  • Bad posture
  • Overuse of muscles 
  • Muscle microtrauma due to weightlifting
  • Injuries sustained by falls, stress, or birth trauma
  • Chronic stress (anxiety, depression, psychological trauma)
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Joint problems and hypermobility


What to Expect from Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point massage therapy focuses on the tender spots deep in your muscle tissues in order to relieve tension and help alleviate pain. Immediately following a trigger point therapy session, you might feel a soreness throughout your limbs, but this is a natural process as your muscles begin to heal and relax. Within a day or two, you’ll feel refreshed and less tense than before!

The Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy

If you experience soreness or pain deep in your muscles, trigger point therapy can help offer some relief. Trigger point therapy may also be recommended to help relieve pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, musculoskeletal pain, TMJ disorder, and herniated discs. Some of the common benefits of trigger point therapy include:

  • Less muscle tension
  • Reduced headaches
  • Improved range of motion
  • Increased flexibility
  • Pain relief
  • Improved posture


Trigger Point Therapy FAQs


What is the difference between a muscle knot and a trigger point?
There is no difference between the two. A trigger point is another way to describe a tense knot of muscles or myofascial tissue in the body. The term trigger point is used in massage therapy to describe the modality of searching out muscle knots and “deactivating” them through touch and pressure.

Do I have to disrobe for a trigger point therapy session?
Our massage therapists require easy access to the trigger points on your body. Depending on your level of comfort, you may choose whether you’d like to disrobe, wear undergarments, a swimsuit, or loose-fitting clothing that you can adjust to allow access to the trigger points as the treatment progresses. 

What can I do at home to help between appointments?
There are self-treatment techniques that you can do at home to help release your trigger points. Our massage therapists can show you how to use these techniques on your own between appointments. They might also recommend treatment tools you can use to assist your hands, such as foam rollers and other items.

Does trigger point therapy hurt?
Trigger point therapy works on sensitive spots of muscle tension. There should be a sensation of “good” pain in order to release the tension. However, you, the client, are in control of your experience. You can tell your massage therapist at any point if the pain is too much, and we will adjust the pressure to suit your needs. We welcome your input and feedback during your session. 

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