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Treating Fibromyalgia With Trigger Point Therapy
By Jane Thompson
Trigger point therapy is a treatment that has helped many people who suffer from fibromyalgia. It is an impressive therapy that effectively reduces trigger point pain. Trigger point therapy is used to relieve pain, and is a massage treatment that is frequently used to treat a variety of conditions including sports injuries, repetitive strain injury, accident trauma, myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Trigger point therapy is also known as myotherapy or myofascial trigger point therapy. It was established in the United States during the 1940s by Dr. Janet Travell.

What is trigger point therapy?
Trigger point therapy is a technique that applies pressure through touch to sensitive muscle tissue known as trigger points. Pressure is applied by fingers, knuckles or elbows and is maintained for up to 10 seconds and released. Pressure is then reapplied in a pumping motion for another 30 seconds and released. After this treatment, the muscles are then stretched to improve flexibility.

The purpose of the therapy is to alleviate pain and dysfunction in other areas of the body, and improve muscular flexibility. Trigger point therapy is able to effectively reduce pain because the pressure that is applied during treatment increases blood flow to the targeted area. As a result, oxygen and nutrients can freely flow to the spot and work to heal the muscle. Furthermore, the applied pressure stimulates the body to release endorphins (natural painkillers) to help reduce pain.

What are trigger points?
Trigger points are the areas of your body that are extremely sensitive. Usually when they are touched, trigger points are painful, increase stiffness in muscles and limit motion. A trigger point will feel like a tight knot in the soft tissue that lies just beneath your skin. Trigger points generally form as a result of poor posture, exertion, stress or an illness such as fibromyalgia.

There are two different trigger points:

1. Active trigger points These points result in pain when they are pressed, but do not cause pain in other parts of the body.

2. Latent trigger points

These points result in pain when they are pressed but can also cause pain in other parts of the body. For example, a trigger point in the neck may cause pain in the back when pressed.

If trigger points are not looked after, they can develop into satellite trigger points, the term given to trigger points that have spread from the original source. Satellite trigger points evolve into more painful symptoms.

How can trigger point therapy help fibromyalgia? Trigger point therapy has been proven to be very beneficial for fibromyalgia sufferers. Fibromyalgia is a disease that causes various tender areas in the body. These sensitive spots often cause muscle stiffness, pain and other discomforts. This is why trigger point therapy is usually a successful treatment for those with fibromyalgia, because the treatment helps to eliminate the tender areas and the resulting symptoms. The following is how trigger point therapy works to help fibromyalgia sufferers:

Decreases the stiffness in muscles
Improves motion range and flexibility
Encourages circulation to allow the body to heal
Reduces anxiety and depression

Trigger point therapy should only be performed by a qualified therapist who has previous experience with treating fibromyalgia. Furthermore, its a good idea to tell the therapist the exact location where you are feeling pain, so that they can focus the therapy on these particular points to provide you with the best relief.

If you are not ready for trigger point therapy, and would like to try something first that doesnt involve a therapist, consider trying relaxation techniques.

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