Many thanks to health and wellness expert Bella Hardy for sharing information on how massage therapy can help us manage pain from myofascial trigger points .
Many of the pains we experience throughout the day are likely associated with our lifestyles and a result of bad habits. From lower back pain to shoulder pain to arthritis to headaches, our daily pains often prove to be a hindrance and can keep us from being productive and from enjoying life. These pains can be caused by knots otherwise known as myofascial trigger points. Massage therapy can reduce pain and discomfort associated with knots.
To decide if massage therapy is the right treatment for you, it’s important to understand what these knots are.
Myofascial trigger points 101
A myofascial trigger point is a “hyperirritable spot, usually within a taut band of skeletal muscle, which is painful on compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena.” Quite simply, it’s a lump that forms as a result of an overworked muscle.
As you go about your day, your muscle tissues contract and knots are created when these muscle tissues cannot release/relax. These bumps are created with the buildup of some metabolic waste and occur at points where circulation is hindered, keeping fresh blood from flowing through those areas. They may cause you to experience limited movement range, pain and increased stress.
How myofascial trigger points form
Knots can occur as a result of any exceeded pressure, strain, injury or trauma over that point. Poor posture also serves as a powerful “activator and perpetuator” of myofascial trigger points. Overstress or overwork a specific group of muscle can contribute to the development of these knots as well. While research shows that exercise at some levels may help to reduce the pain of myofascial trigger points, it also shows that overtraining may be a cause and that further studies are needed to “investigate the effectiveness of exercise alone.”