Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy is the art and science of treating the myofascial dysfunction in muscles, fascia, ligaments, and tendons due to the presence of Trigger Points. Trigger Point Therapy is performed without drugs, surgery or other invasive techniques.
One of the most popular techniques for treating Trigger Points is the use of manual compression techniques. This might appear to be similar to deep tissue massage - however a Trigger Point therapist is trained to assess the overall muscular health of their patient, identify myofascial pain and dysfunction, and precisely locate and treat the associated Trigger Points - this is not a spa massage!
Trigger Point Therapy also involves the use of various other techniques including active contract/relax and post-isometric relaxation, vapor coolant spray and stretch and ultrasound. Recently, the use of an advanced medical device, the Piezo Wave 2, which delivers extra corporeal shock wave therapy to the dysfunctional muscle's taut bands. This device uses pulses of sound waves to provide "acoustic compression" as an alternative to manual compression techniques. It is an extremely effective leading edge technology for the reduction of pain from myofascial dysfunction and trigger points.
The trigger point model states that unexplained pain frequently radiates from these points of local tenderness to broader areas, sometimes distant from the trigger point itself. Practitioners claim to have identified reliable referred pain patterns which associate pain in one location with trigger points elsewhere. There is variation in the methodology for diagnosis of trigger points and a dearth of theory to explain how they arise and why they produce specific patterns of referred pain.
Compression of a trigger point may elicit local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response. The local twitch response is not the same as a muscle spasm. This is because a muscle spasm refers to the entire muscle contracting whereas the local twitch response also refers to the entire muscle but only involves a small twitch, no contraction.