A Trigger Point Analogy
What I am doing when I trigger point? A simple analogy:
Whether it’s a tired muscle due to it’s repetitive use or a strained muscle following an injury or excessive high impacting physical activity, when it knots up, it knots up. It gets tight, sore and eventually limits our range of motion. When a muscle gets tired and can’t function as it should, it calls on other muscles to help, overusing and tiring those muscles referring pain to other areas.
It’s as simple as this: that knotted muscle stuck in a muscle fibre is like a smoothie clotted up in a straw.
Imagine sucking a smoothie through a straw. The intensity of this and the thickness of the smoothie makes it clot up in the straw. It tires you out to the point you cannot suck any more of it in through that straw.
If you find a gap (or airpocket) within the straw and press on it, what happens?
The smoothie spreads out, making it easier to drink again.
That’s (very simply put) how trigger points work. The knot within the muscle fibre gets overused, tired and slows down its movement. We look for the point between the muscle and the nerve and press deep and under to release and ease the knot. Helping gain range of movement again. (Of course the technique more complex than this, so please don’t try it unless you have been trained. Pressing on an incorrect point can not only hurt, but it may damage muscles and fibres).
Is it painful? It can be. But for me, I find it less aggravating on the muscles than other treatments which aim to break down/push knots away.
I engage with clients throughout the treatment and apply pressure “just above their pain threshold” (although some clients ask me to “just kill it”).
What does it feel like? In general, it’s a sharp or pinchy sensation which lasts for a few seconds. Some points feel like a pinched nerve localised to the area, others cause a pinchiness which travel to an area of referred pain. When the pinchiness or travelling feeling eases, the pressure point is released. This can feel quite soothing to a strained body.
Recovery? Different people respond differently to this treatment. You can expect some tenderness after treatment, however range of movement improves immediately. A heat pack can be applied for some comfort if needed.
Some respond well and feel almost brand new the next day. I usually advise clients that they may wake up feeling like they’ve had a round of boxing, but it’s a good “pain” which subsides within 24-48hrs. Best of all, getting back that range of movement feels sensational and the benefit in the treatment realised.
Important to the recovery process is my lollie jar and that you drink plenty of water over the next 24hrs. The intensity of the treatment activates your muscles to a point of extreme relaxation and dehydration. You’ll need to boost those energy levels and muscles back up. A treat for feeling great!