What is the Trigger point?

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Definition

A trigger point denotes a blocked area and inflammation of muscle tissue.

A mini contraction, a knot, harsh or a "passage" which triggers surrounding pain towards other anatomical areas.

Simply touching this area with a finger causes pain or nerve irritation

Trigger points can be found in all body muscles and multiple trigger points can be found within the same muscle.

How do you stimulate these trigger points?

Just like with acupuncture, the area must be identified and all other pathologies must be ruled out as trigger points must not be confused with skin tumours

The technique is similar to Cyriax's deep friction massage, where pressure is applied to the area or point with the aim of stimulating the nervous system's sensory receptors.

The therapist or physiotherapist approaches the session by analysing the targeted objectives which often focus not only on reducing pain but also eliminating local contractures or loco-regional contractures in order to provide muscle well-being

Examples for better understanding

In the case of a vicious lumbago or sciatica, hence where the body is out of alignment, stimulating the trigger points of the pyramidal tract may free up the painful contracture

Many other pains may be improved using this technique, for example, neck pain, headaches and migraines as well as some tendonitis for example, tennis Elbow

How a session is completed

Basic principle: contraindications must be taken into account and the session must not go ahead in the case of flu or intense pain and not before the initial diagnosis ruling out any tumours or other pathologies, has been completed

By a professional

A light massage and the initial application of warmth may provide confidence and enable persons to better support pain when stimulating the trigger zone

Pressure applied using a finger or sometimes a special hook must be accurate, deep and vigorous, lasting 10-20 seconds

Relief may be felt immediately but often you have to stimulate multiple trigger points and complete some gentle stretching exercises to lift the contracture.

Sessions may be repeated dependent on results but if pain persists, we always recommend you go and see your doctor.

By self-stimulation

It is possible to stimulate a trigger area yourself using the thumb, tennis ball, a small rolling pin, you can also use massage cream or essential oils yourself and complete gentle stretches to restore comfortable movement.

Conclusion

Acupuncture's "cousin", the stimulation of trigger points which frees up painful contractures caused by stress, overwork and overtraining

Docteur Patrick Bacquaert

Médecin chef de l'IRBMS

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    Advice

    Sport is good for your health, and the objective is to avoid injuries and microtraumas and to recover as quickly as possible to enjoy the benefits of sport and maintain one's fitness and wellness
    Post-workout muscle soreness can be avoided or lessened so that it becomes tolerable and is not an obstacle either to everyday life or to going back to the stadium as soon as possible

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