Trigger Point Therapy


Medical therapeutic massage remedy process is composed of mobilization of pores and skin, fascia and muscular tissue, cause level remedy, and post-isometric leisure tactics. Each of those modalities is similarly essential with a purpose to achieve fast and sustained effects. For many years, large usage of scientific therapeutic massage has confirmed to be a protected and really efficient manner of remedy for the strengthen and motion machine issues, inside organ issues, pressure control, and extra.

In the previous few years, there were a large number of arguments in inside the skilled neighborhood about practitioners using guide remedy and cause level remedy. In contemporary skilled publications many authors were elevating the next questions: Is a cause level a formation of fibroconnective tissue in muscle tissue? Have histological research ever been executed on cause issues? Is there a idea of peripheral nerve ache on the motor finish plate a brand new idea and the one idea? Are ischemic compression tactics for cause level remedy protected and efficient?

The transient solutions on aforementioned questions are:

1. Fibroconnective tissue formation in muscle tissue is myogelosis, an incurable muscular pathology.

2. In many circumstances myogelosis is the results of insufficient remedy of cause issues.

3. A cause level is a pinpoint localization of ache that may be present in muscle tissue, connective tissue, and periosteum. The morphology of this level of ache is such that the call for of blood provide is way upper than the true blood provide.

4. The idea of peripheral nerve ache on the motor finish plate isn’t a brand new idea.

5. Any idea should be supported via scientific output.

6. Ischemic compression as one way of cause level remedy has been confirmed via a minimum of Four many years of huge usage as a protected and efficient manner.

7. Ischemic compression tactics are implemented via step by step expanding power, thus with the exception of the potential for doing hurt to the affected person and to the therapist.

In the seek for true figuring out of pathophysiology, the frame’s sophistication and complexity calls for us to take an integrative solution to any factor. Thus I wish to provide to the reader a brief medical evaluation of the cause level factor and the cause level remedy idea.

The Nature of Trigger Points

There isn’t any remark within the trendy medical literature that calls a cause level a “taut band of fibro-connective tissue.” However, it used to be as soon as used within the overdue 19th/early 20th century till histological research carried out via German scientists (Glogowski, and Wallraff, 1951; Miehlke et al., 1950) confirmed that there’s no connective tissue proliferation (myogelosis) within the space of a cause level in muscle tissue. “In our opinion, fibrositis (in regard to cause issues) has change into a hopelessly ambiguous prognosis… is highest have shyed away from” (Travell, Simons, 1983). However, connective tissue will develop between muscle fibers when a core of the myogelosis is shaped (Glogowski, and Wallraff, 1951). Myogelosis is a scientific end result of years of reactivation of the energetic cause level in the similar space. At the similar time, cause level remedy is needless if the core of the myogelosis is already shaped.

In 1843, for the primary time, the German doctor Dr. F. Froriep described cause issues as painful formation in skeletal muscle tissue. In 1921 some other German scientist, Dr. H. Schade, tested them histologically and shaped the concept that of myogelosis. In 1923 the British doctor Dr. J. Mackenzie introduced the primary pathophysiological rationalization of the cause level formation mechanism and formulated the concept that of the reflex zones within the skeletal muscle tissue the place the central and peripheral worried machine play a important position. The reflex zones idea used to be additional evolved via the American scientist Prof. I. Korr in 1941 in a sequence of brilliantly designed experimental research. Thus, the cause level idea used to be evolved lengthy earlier than the paintings of Travell and Simons, who primarily based their e-newsletter (see references in “Trigger Point Manual” via Travell and Simons) at the works of the scientists discussed.

There are a large number of printed result of histological reviews of the cause level spaces. Even within the brief record of references on the finish of this newsletter you’ll be able to in finding considerable proof underneath references 5, 6, 7, 13, and 15.

It is deceptive to state that Dr. Travell and Dr. Simons really helpful the usage of ischemic compression for cause level remedy. They advocated injection, stretch and spray tactics, and muscle power tactics for cause level remedy. Although, Travell and Simons did point out ischemic compression as an choice according to the European scientific assets, they by no means really helpful it as a remedy manner.

The Role of Vasodilators in Local Ischemia

Awad (1973) tested biopsy tissues from cause issues the usage of an electron microscope and detected an important building up within the collection of platelets, which led to the discharge of serotonin and mast cells, which in flip launched histamine. Both serotonin and histamine are potent vasodilators and their building up is a transparent signal that frame is making an attempt to combat the native ischemia within the cause level space. In his now classical paintings, Fassbender (1975) carried out a histological exam of the circulate within the space of the cause level and proved as soon as and for all that “… the cause level represents a area of native ischemia.” The similar effects had been got via Popelansky et al., (1986) who used radioisotope analysis of blood circulate within the space of the cause level.

The End Plate Theory

The finish plate idea isn’t a brand new idea. Travell and Simmons continuously emphasize the worried machine as a important issue within the construction of the cause level and indicate the significance of end-plate zones. They even title particular sorts of cause issues referred to as “motor cause issues,” which might be positioned in the midst of the muscle abdominal on the neuromuscular junction. “The functionally important construction with reference to the innervation of muscle fibers is the myoneural junction (end-plate zone)…” and “Some cause issues are carefully related to myoneural junctions, others now not.” (Travell and Simmons, 1983). The concept of the worried machine and the position of end-plate zones isn’t a brand new idea. As early as 1947 Prof. Korr addressed the similar problems in his analysis.

According to histological research (Heine, 1997; Gogoleva, 2001) persistent ache and coffee grade stress within the skeletal muscle tissue and fascia are liable for the low grade irritation across the terminal portions of the sensory and motor neurons which finish within the cushy tissues. This persistent irritation turns on the native fibroblasts, which deposit collagen across the nerve endings forming so-called “collagen cuffs.” This further frustrating issue triggers an afferent sensory glide to the central worried machine, which is interpreted via the mind as ache. This mechanism is in part described via the era of ache within the space of motor cause issues. We need to imagine that the terminal portions of the sensory and motor neurons are positioned within the cushy tissues, together with skeletal muscle tissue. In different phrases, it could be logical to think that one thing should aggravate the terminal portions of sensory and motor neurons. This one thing is a stress within the skeletal muscle tissue, together with cause issues that aren’t related to motor cause issues (since they’re positioned in different portions of the skeletal muscle). Keep in thoughts that any inflammatory situation, whether or not in motor finish plates or in muscular tissue, approach that there’s a reduced quantity of blood provide to this infected tissue. From this it follows that sluggish ischemic compression may also be seen as an anti inflammatory effort.

There is certainly that myofascial ache may also be the results of peripheral nerve abnormalities. An instance of this will be the inflammation of the sciatic nerve via an over-tensed piriformis muscle ensuing within the formation of cause issues in muscle tissue innervated via the sciatic nerve. This record may also be persevered as a result of any peripheral nerve’s entrapment in the important thing spaces will motive formation of cause issues in muscle tissue innervated via this nerve.

If one examines a affected person with peripheral arterial dysfunction (e.g., Buerger’s illness) one will in finding a large number of energetic and dormant cause issues within the leg and foot muscle tissue. It would maximum without a doubt be agreeable that inadequate arterial blood provide because of this vascular abnormality is liable for the formation of cause issues within the skeletal muscle tissue reasonably than abnormalities within the motor end-plates. The similar is correct for cause issues within the skeletal muscle tissue, which might be evolved because of persistent visceral issues (e.g., sufferers with cardiac issues showcase energetic cause issues within the trapezius, levator scapulae, and rhomboideus muscle tissue). In such circumstances the end-plate abnormalities wouldn’t have the rest to do with formation of cause issues within the skeletal muscle tissue. They are the results of the phenomenon of convergence of ache stimuli inside of the similar segments of the spinal wire, which might be liable for the innervation of each the affected inside organ and the skeletal muscle tissue. In 1955 Dr. Glezer and Dalicho formulated the idea that also stands clinically confirmed. They proposed and evolved maps of reflex zone abnormalities of the surface, fascia and muscle tissue, together with cause level construction.

The Energy Crisis Theory

There is some other idea, which hyperlinks formation of cause issues with the lack of ATP within the affected muscle tissue because of inadequate arterial circulate. ATP is the power supply for cell serve as, together with muscle tissue. Authors of this idea, referred to as the Energy Crisis Theory, identified the formation of the cause issues in very wholesome athletes who didn’t have indicators of peripheral nerve abnormalities and nonetheless evolved energetic cause issues. Gradual building up of the resting muscular tone in commonplace muscle tissue triggers native vasoconstriction, interstitial edema, and ATP exhaustion with the next formation of energetic cause issues. Prof. D. Simons reviewed this idea as smartly, or even used widely works executed via his colleagues, Dr. D.R Hubbard and Dr. G.M. Berkoff, in his personal analysis.

Trigger Point Therapy Protocol

Ultimately cause level remedy has the next targets:

1. Eliminate protecting muscular stress within the muscle tissue that harbor energetic cause issues.

2. Eliminate situation of the hyperirritability of the peripheral receptors, particularly ache receptors.

3. Block the pain-analyzing machine of the affected person.

4. Produce reflex vasodilation.

5. Eliminate native ischemia.

To successfully reach those targets the practitioner must behavior cause level remedy using a number of similarly essential parts:

1. Detect location of the energetic cause level.

2. Detect the pathway of ache radiation and read about tissues alongside this pathway in case satellite tv for pc cause issues are shaped.

3. Place finger within the cause level. Slowly practice vertical compression of the tissues till the affected person feels the primary signal of ache. As quickly as she or he stories it prevent expanding power however deal with it at that very same stage. After 10 seconds of power utility, the ache that the affected person to start with felt will disappear. The affected person must in an instant report back to you once she or he feels the ache stop. During the following 20 seconds the practitioner will be capable to get to the “backside” of the cause level with out undesirable activation of the ache examining machine and producing protecting muscular stress within the affected muscle or muscle tissue within the area.

4. To accomplish the primary 3 targets practice effleurage and kneading tactics at the affected muscle tissue within the inhibitory regime for 5-7 mins (comfy sluggish building up of power, in the similar course of the strokes).

5. Exit the cause level as rapid as conceivable to supply fast and efficient vasodilation and removal of the native ischemia.

The proper protocol of cause level remedy does now not have pitfalls. This protocol is similarly efficient for the motor cause issues, in addition to for different cause issues. The implemented power is rarely robust sufficient to move over the affected person’s threshold of ache, inflicting the ache and damage of motor nerve endings. Peripheral vasodilation restores native pH to commonplace, will increase oxygenation of the tissues within the space of the cause level, and step by step removes the cause level.


1. Awad, E.A.: Interstitial myofibrositis: speculation of the mechanism, Arch. Phys. Med. Rehab, 54(10):449-453, 1973

2. Fassbender H.G. Pathology of the Rheumatic Diseases. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1975

3. Froriep, F. Ein Beitrag zur Pathologie und Therapie des Rheumatismus. Weimar, 1843.

4. Glezer, O., Dalicho, V.A. Segmentmassage. Leipzig, 1955

5. Glogowski, G., Wallraff, J. “Ein beitrag zur Klinik und Histologie der Muskkelharten (Myogelosen)”, Z. Orthop., 80:237-268, 1951

6. Gogoleva, E.F. “New Approaches to Diagnosis and Therapy of Fibromyalgia related to Spondylosis.” Ther. Arch., 4:40-45, 2001.

7. Heine, H. Lehbruh der biologischen Medicine. Stuttgart, Hippokrates, 1997.

8. Hubbard, D.R., Berkoff, G.M. “Myofascial cause issues display spontaneous needle EMG process”, Spine, 18:1803-1807, 1993.

9. Korr, I.M. “The Neural Basis of the Osteopathic Lesion.” JAOA, 47(4): 191-198, 1947.

10. Kreymer, A.Y. Vibration Massage in Diseases of the Nervous System.

Tomsk University, Tomsk, 1987.

11. Mackenzie, J. Angina Pectoris. Henry, Frowde & Hodder & Stroughton, London, 1923.

12. Mezlack, R., Wall, P. “Pain Mechanism: A New Theory.” Science, 150 (Nov): 971-979, 1965.

13. Miehlke, Ok., Schulze, G., Eger, W. ” Klinische und experimentelle Untersuchungen zum Fibrositis-syndrom. Z. Rheumaforsch, 19:310-330, 1960.

14. Popelansky, Y.Y., Zaslavsky, E.S., Veselovsky, V.P. Medicosocial importance, etiology, pathogenesis, and prognosis of non-articular illnesses of sentimental tissues of the lims and again. Vorpr. Rheumat., 3:38-43, 1986.

15. Schade, H. “Untersuchungen in der Erkaltungstrade: III. Uber den Rheumatismus, in besondere den Muskelrheumatismus (Myogelose).” Munch. Med. Wschr., 68, 95-99, 1921.

16. Travell, J.G., Simons, D.G. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. The Trigger Points Manual. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1983.

17. Wall, P.D., Crowly-Dillon, J.R. “Pain, Itch and Vibration.” A.M.A. Arch. Neurol., 2: 19-29, 1960.

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