Trigger Points, Massage, and Massage Chairs

April 10, 2008
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
April 10, 2008
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Trigger Points, Massage, and Massage Chairs

Have you been having bad headaches, pain and numbness in your arms or down your legs? Have you been experiencing sharp pain in your ribs or back when taking in a breath or just changing positions? You could have trigger points in your muscles sitting on nerve pathways causing this pain. Now while trigger points are not always the cause for these symptoms, before looking into surgery and/or taking heavy medication it may be worth it to schedule a massage session with a licensed massage therapist who specializes in deep tissue and trigger point therapy. Once you find out that you, in fact, have trigger points, then regular sessions on your massage chair will serve you greatly. You do not need to go too terribly frequently to a massage therapist if you have a massage chair in your home or business. Regular use of your massage chair has been shown to reduce muscle spasm and trigger points.

What is a trigger point you ask? The simple version is this; they are deposits left behind in a muscle that has sent a message to the brain that it has been injured, whether through repetitive strain or a traumatic injury. Once the brain receives the signal it sends out a distress call and several chemical mediators show up to the site. In the process of repair sometimes little “buildups” are left behind. These are what patients commonly call their “knots.” When a trigger point is sitting on a nerve it can cause localized or referred pain. That is why your headaches may be coming from your neck or shoulder pain could be from one in your back. They can form in any muscle, big or small. Not all trigger points are active there are some that are latent...these are masses that you can feel but they do not cause pain.

The good news is that although they can cause chronic conditions if not rubbed out and a lot of pain, once they are found and “worked” on by a skilled LMT or by your massage chair recliner, the painful symptoms should subside as well. So if you can endure the discomfort of a deep tissue/trigger point session, or if you can stand resting on your massage chair a couple of times a day for a while, you should feel better within a few days. Always remember to drink a lot of water after one of these sessions to flush out what the therapist or massage chiar has broken up and don’t be surprised if you feel a little bit worse before you feel better, but it’s worth it!

Steffanie Wistos, LMT
Commercial Sales Manager

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