We are all probably familiar with trigger points. They are little tight bands in our muscle fibres that ache away all day, are sharply painful when pressed upon, and relieve suddenly with a little sustained pressure. Trigger points were first described by President John F Kennedy’s personal Doctor, Dr Janet G Travell. In fact she and her colleague Robert Simmons wrote the first, and still most widely used, book on the subject!
Trigger points can produce a range of symptoms beyond pain with restricted range of movement being a very common theme. They can even produce effects such as dizziness and nausea when they have been present for a long time. Fortunately a small sustained pressure over the affected muscle tissue is often all that is required to put a stop to them. This is usually accompanied by a strong feeling of relief. There is sill debate on why such an irritable muscle might release with just a little pressure but one theory is that by denying the muscle oxygen for a small length of time it is simply forced to relax as it cannot produce the energy it requires to stay contracted.
Sometimes however a trigger point can be very stubborn, it might return very quickly after it is released. It might not even relax with the usual techniques. New research by a Canadian University shows that chiropractic adjustments can relieve trigger points even more quickly than the traditional method and without the associated pain of pushing into these tight little terrors. In fact a single neck adjustment could effectively relieve trigger points in the buttocks and the shoulder.
If you have problems with tight muscles or trigger points that just wont resolve then consider coming in for a check up. It just may be the quickest and easiest way to the relief you’re looking for.