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Trigger Point Therapy - The Missing Link In Unsuccessful Back Pain, Sciatica And Pain Treatment


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Trigger points are described as hyperirritable spots in the muscles that are associated with palpable nodules in the muscle fibers. The palpable nodules are said to be small contraction knots and a common cause of pain. The trigger points produce pain locally (right where they are) as well as often referring pain to other areas.

Very often the muscles most affected with trigger points are the postural muscles. The trigger point model states that most unexplained pain radiates from these points of local tenderness, suggesting that treatment should be addressed to the relevant trigger points. But before I carry on to further explaining the Trigger Point Theory let's go back in time first to see where this concept comes from.


An American doctor, Janet G. Travell, was responsible for the most detailed and important work. Her work treating US President John F. Kennedyback pain was so successful that she was asked to be the first female Personal Doctor to the President. She published more than 40 papers between 1942 and 1990 and in 1983 the first volume of The Trigger Point Manual appeared; this was followed by the second volume in 1992. In her later years Travell collaborated extensively with her colleague David Simons. A third edition is soon to be published by Simons and his wife, both of whom have survived Travell.

Today, much treatment of trigger points and their pain complexes are handled by Physiotherapist who are trained and experienced in Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists and some other Therapists who are trained in this field. The trigger point concept remains unknown to most doctors and is not generally taught in medical school curricula.


Trigger points have a number of qualities. They may be classified as active/latent and also as key/satellites and primary/secondary. I will just go on to explain the active and latent concept to avoid making it too technical.

An active trigger point is one that actively refers pain either locally or to another location (most trigger points refer pain elsewhere in the body along nerve pathways). A latent trigger point is one that exists, but does not yet refer pain actively, but may do so when pressure or strain is applied to the myo-skeletal structure containing the trigger point.

Latent trigger points can influence muscle activation patterns, which can result in poorer muscle coordination and balance. Activation of trigger points may be caused by a number of factors, including acute or chronic muscle overload, injury to the area, muscle imbalances and some other less common reasons.

Trigger points can appear in many myofascial structures includingmuscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joint capsule, periost (bone fascia) and scar tissue. When present in muscles there is often pain and weakness in the associated structures.

Trigger Points are often the cause for the development of muscle imbalances, which in return cause spinal and joint mal-alignment. As structures become uneven or excessively stressed a condition of the spine or joint will develop!


Prior to treatment commencement, the therapist should be sure that the pain patterns they are treating lend themselves to Trigger Point Therapy. If the patient presents with swelling, discoloration, or neurological symptoms, it is always advisable to refer to another health/medical care provider regarding further examination and/or investigation.

Treatment of trigger points may be by Physiotherapists trained in Trigger Point Treatment, Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist and other Therapists trained in this field. If your back pain, sciatica or any other pain treatment has been unsuccessful then it is very likely that the Trigger Point Treatment has been the missing link of your treatment. You are best to find a Health Professional experienced in the Trigger Point treatment concept.


The Trigger Point Self-Treatment System was developed by an Americanneurological chiropractor who once suffered from low back pain and shoulder/arm pain himself. This system allows you to treat your trigger points in the comfort of your own home, as often as necessary. This is ideal for people who can't afford to see a Health Professional Privately or just don't have the time to regularly make visits to a Professional.

The program's unique, easy to use design helps you completely relax your muscles while you apply only the amount of deep therapeutic pressure needed, to your comfort level. The Trigger Point Self-Treatment System allows you to be in complete control. With the treatment platform design you can simply use your body weight, and completely relax whilst effortlessly melting your pain away.

With just ten minutes a day, you can find blessed relief you probably have not known for a long time. All the trigger points around the body can be pressure massaged away. Nothing could be easier!

Arjen Bootsma is a Physiotherapist and Medico-legal Expert Witness who has a highly successful Clinic (ChesterPhysio) in the UK, please visit for more details. He also looks after the National Welsh Gymnastic Squad and is an authority in the field of Spinal Disorders. If back pain or sciatica is controlling your life then please visit or just simply send an email to for any help you need.


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