By applying gentle sustained manual pressure to restricted areas the manual therapist can relieve tension and reduce adhesions within the tender tissue. This results in improved motion and pain relief for the patient.
Trigger points, sometimes called knots, are tight and painful areas within muscle and connective tissue that when touched cause or trigger a pain sensation in another part of the body.
This type of pain is called referred pain. Common trigger points in the upper back and shoulders when pressed refer pain to the back or side of the head. Trigger points in the low back often refer pain to the glute muscles, and vice versa. Myofascial release and trigger point therapy can at first be uncomfortable. Patients are encouraged to breathe deeply while the therapist alternates between applying and releasing pressure.
These techniques have been shown to decrease pain and tension in muscles and connective tissue and are an important adjunct to chiropractic care.
Tight and restricted muscle and connective tissue can cause improper joint motion and eventually lead to pain and injury. In conjunction, when an area of the body is injured, muscle spasms and contractions occur to provide protection. This can create a vicious cycle of pain, restriction, dysfunction and injury.