Sports Medicine
Sports Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation

+1-650-815-6552 / +33784264352

Voted Best Sports Therapy Clinic in the San Francisco Bay Area 2010-2018!

Trigger Point Therapy

Looking For Trigger Point Therapy (TrPT)?
This treatment style applies concentrated finger pressure, and breath work, to trigger points to break cycles of spasm and pain. Trigger points are irritated areas in muscle fibers that, when compressed, may elicit pain or a twitching response in local or distal regions. As defined by Dr. Janett Travell, a trigger point is a hyperirritable tender spot in an abused muscle that refers pain (“triggers pain”) to other muscles.

More Information on Trigger Points and TrPT...
What exactly are muscle knots? A “muscle knot” is a trigger point: a small patch of muscle tissue in spasm. When you say that you have “muscle knots,” you are talking about myofascial trigger points. There are no actual knots involved, of course. Although their true nature is uncertain, the dominant theory is that a trigger point (TrP) is a small patch of tightly contracted muscle, an isolated spasm affecting just a small patch of muscle tissue (not a whole-muscle spasm like a “charlie horse” or cramp.) That small patch of knotted muscle cuts off its own blood supply, which irritates it even more — a vicious cycle called “metabolic crisis.” A collection of too many nasty trigger points is called myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Individual TrPs and MPS can cause a shocking amount of discomfort — far more than most people believe is possible — as well as some surprising side effects. Its bark is much louder than its bite, but the bark can be extremely loud.

Why Muscle Pain Matters So Much...
Muscle pain matters: it’s an important problem. Aches and pains are an extremely common medical complaint, and trigger points seem to be a factor in many of them. They are a key factor in headaches (probably including migraine and cluster headaches as well), neck pain and low back pain, and (much) more. What makes trigger points clinically important — and fascinating — is their triple threat. They can:
  1. Cause Pain Problems
  2. Complicate Pain Problems, and
  3. Mimic Other Pain Problems.

Trigger points can cause pain directly. Trigger points are a “natural” part of muscle tissue. Just as almost everyone gets some pimples, sooner or later almost everyone gets muscle knots — and you have pain with no other explanation.
Trigger Points complicate injuries... Trigger points show up in most painful situations like party crashers. Almost no matter what happens to you, you can count on trigger points to make it worse. In many cases they actually begin to overshadow the original problem.
Trigger Points Mimic other problems... Many trigger points feel like something else. It is easy for an unsuspecting health professional to mistake trigger point pain for practically anything but a trigger point. For instance, muscle pain is probably more common than repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), because many so-called RSIs may actually be muscle pain.

"The daily clinical experience of thousands of massage therapists, physical therapists, and physicians strongly indicates that most of our common aches and pains — and many other puzzling physical complaints — are actually caused by trigger points, or small contraction knots, in the muscles of the body." - The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, by Clair Davies and Amber Davies, p. 2.

Trigger points can be either active or latent. A latent trigger point means that it only sends its pain referral pattern when you touch it.  For example, if you take a tennis ball and place it between your scapula and your spine, you may push into a trigger point in the rhomboids, which will give you this radiating or dull ache all over the upper back area.  If you didn’t push into that area with the trigger point, you would not know it was there.  This is a latent trigger point.  It only refers when you press into it.
An active trigger point is one, which is currently referring its myofascial pain response.  A good example of this, is if you ever had a headache, and you pinched your upper traps, and in doing so were able to produce your symptoms (i.e., the headache or that ache through the top of your head and behind your eyes), congratulations, you found an active trigger point!
Trigger points usually can be found in clusters.  So, if you de-activate one, then you have to search out and try and de-activate the others within that muscle.  This could take some time and may be very intense, so you might want to do it over several sessions.
Another thing to consider is that trigger points are not just located within the belly of the muscle.  They can also be located in tendinus attachment of the muscle and, even some trigger point referral patterns have been documented ligaments – good examples of this would be the pain referral pattern for the sacrotuberous ligament, which refers a pain pattern down the back of the leg and into the calf (similar to what people may diagnose as or call sciatica) and the pain referral pattern for the iliolumbar ligament which is can be felt in the groin or pain on the outside of the hip (what some may diagnose as or refer to as trochanteric bursitis).

We Can Help You!
At Athletic Edge, we are trained in Trigger Point Therapy techniques and how to apply them to your particular pain pattern or restriction. We often blend this technique with many others to provide a customized therapeutic treatment which achieves the best possible result.

Why Choose Athletic Edge?

All of our massage therapists are skilled in sports massage, injury rehab and pain relief. We’ll review your posture and help assess the actual cause of your pain or restriction. We will also explain when to use ice or heat and will provide stretches & recommendations to help get you feeling better.

Our Experience
The staff at Athletic Edge takes great pride in our ability to help athletes and injured clients reach their full potential. We work in conjunction with doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists and other health care professionals to provide our clients with the highest level of care possible. We have treated everything from pulled muscles, whiplash and joint pain to scoliosis,  carpal tunnel syndrome and severe nerve pain. And if you’re an athlete, we will create a session unique to your needs using the same knowledge, skills and experience we have developed working with professional level athletes from the NFL, MLS, World Cup, Olympians, International Rugby teams, professional cyclists, runners, triathletes, rock climbers and many other sports. Athletic Edge experience combines years of massage experience, including executive planning and execution of therapy for the Tennessee Titans, Country Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, Music City Marathon, Rock N' Roll Marathon, Salt Lake City Olympics, Vanderbilt Athletics, Stanford Athletics, and various NFL teams across the country.  Athletic Edge is staffed with licensed and nationally certified (NCTMB) massage therapists who have a common goal when it comes to client needs: utilizing massage techniques to treat athletic injuries, and also aid in the prevention of future damage to soft tissues. Athletic Edge maintains the highest standards in massage therapy, requiring our therapists to have over 1,200 hours of education, a state and city permit for practicing, and a minimum of 2,000 hours of client experience.  Most of our therapists far exceed these requirements, and they are equipped with extensive clinical experience and thousands of practice hours on their resume. Our certified clinical massage therapists and neuromuscular therapists have been trained in Sports Massage, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy (NMT) and other forms of soft tissue work to provide a variety of therapy options to meet your wellness needs. Each therapist also holds a professional membership with the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).