Trigger & Motor Point
Trigger point therapy is tailored for the active individual. That’s because it helps facilitate healing and recovery in stressed or injured muscles. If you have a nagging back or calf muscle that continually knots up after a workout – or neck muscles that tighten at the end of a long day at work – then this is for you. Trigger point looks at the interconnection of muscle groups, since sometimes a trigger point in one area can be referring pain to a different area. Our therapy is designed to find the root cause of the pain and treat that.
What is a trigger point?
Muscles are made up of thousands of tiny muscle fibers that expand and contract to move the muscle. Over time, either through overuse or injury some of these muscle fibers stop being able to expand and contract properly, which leads to the classic muscle “knot.” Sometimes fascia (a layer of collagen) can even form around the knot making it harder for the muscle to fire properly, and subsequently to fully relax. Having a trigger point in the muscle can be painful at the location of the trigger point and can cause pain to radiate to other areas.
What does the therapy do?
Releasing trigger points involves inserting the acupuncture needle into this spot and manipulating it to elicit a “twitch response.” That contraction of the muscle triggers a reaction from the body’s own healing mechanisms, releasing histamines, which relax blood vessels and increase blood flow into the area. The muscle fibers relax, and the pain associated with the tightness begins to dissipate. Since overused muscles contract and shorten — something that can become chronic over time — getting the muscle to release is extremely beneficial while the body is recovering. It also reduces the strain on tendons and joints, which also has a positive impact on repetitive injuries like tendonitis.
What is motor point therapy?
During a trigger point session, you might hear your acupuncturist mention motor points. While the terms are similar motor points are different than trigger points. However, the treatments can be used in conjunction with one another depending on the specific case.
A motor point is an anatomical location where the nerve enters the muscle. By inserting a needle into this point – and sometimes using electrical stimulation to encourage the muscle to fire properly – motor point acupuncture can dis-inhibit muscles that aren’t firing properly and relax muscles that are tight.
What should you expect?
Prior to your first trigger point session, your acupuncturist will ask questions to determine the problem areas and will go over the process so that you understand exactly what will happen during the treatment. If appropriate your acupuncturist might do some muscle testing to see which muscles are weak or tight.
There can be some initial soreness as the formerly knotted muscles relax and return to their normal length. The benefits, however, become apparent before long.
During your session at EVAM we combine traditional acupuncture with trigger points and motor points to expedite your healing and get your body back to its peak performance.