Massage Therapist, Fort Worth
TRIGGER POINT PAIN
Trigger Points Rob Our Physical, Emotional and Mental Health
Because trigger points cannot be diagnosed by currently available laboratory tests or imaging techniques, nor are they apparent during a traditional medical examination, trigger point therapy, a well-documented medical concept, is often overlooked as a strategy to eliminate under-treated pain. Spreading awareness of this non-invasive, pharmaceutical free treatment is essential to increasing the flexibility and mobility that creates good health and happy living. "Trigger points are activated directly by acute [recent] overload, overwork fatigue, direct impact trauma, and by radiculopathy [nerve impingement]. [They] can be activated indirectly by other existing trigger points (TrPs), visceral [internal organs] disease, arthritic joints, joint dysfunctions and by emotional distress. Satellite TrPs are prone to develop in muscles that lie within the pain reference zone of key myofascial TrPs, or within the zone of pain referred from a diseased viscus [internal organ], such as the pain of myocardial infarction, [heart attack] peptic ulcer, cholelithiasis [gallstones] or renal colic [kidney stone pain]. A perpetuating factor increases the likelihood of overload stress converting a latent TrP to an active TrP." Pain has three components: sensory, emotional and cognitive. Once you have enough pain, your choices are seriously compromised. "Of the ten leading causes of illness and death in the U.S., seven could be greatly reduced if the following lifestyle habits were modified – alcohol abuse, lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, and unhealthy maladaptive responses to stress and tension. Dr Julius B. Richmond, MD, US Surgeon General 1979. Most of these 10 leading causes are driven by pain and trying to cope with it. We believe it is inevitable that we age poorly because medicine currently favors technology and pharmaceuticals and is driven by insurance management of costs, which limits the time spent with patients. But worse, because our physicians don't mention the possibility of this medical concept, we don't know a simpler, longer lasting independent solution exists. "Important advances in modern medicine are often not glamorous and frequently go unheralded. For example, public health initiatives that saved many lives in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries include sanitation, immunization and provisions to ensure clean, healthy food. If you consider the advances that make news, such as heart transplantation, you find that they are often necessary because of an illness which could have been prevented and was the result of a lifetime of unhealthy behaviors. Current priorities in health care are shifting because we recognize the implications of the unhealthy lifestyle behaviors which are so common in our country. The challenge for the twenty-first century is to help individuals to change these longstanding, detrimental lifestyle behaviors." Herbert Benson, MD in The Wellness Book: The comprehensive guide to maintaining health and treating stress-related illness 1993, Herbert Benson, M.D. and Eileen M. Stuart, R.N. Trigger points respond positively to self care; you can self treat them using muscle energy technique, contract relax, post-isometric relaxation and the use of trigger point tools to work in conjunction with your pain map.