A trigger point is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a sensitive area of the body, stimulation or irritation of which causes a specific effect in another part, especially a tender area in a muscle that causes generalized musculoskeletal pain when overstimulated.
Trigger points can arise following injury, overuse or imbalance. These knotted muscle fibers may result in localized tenderness or refer pain to other areas of the body and have been associated with headaches, back pain, jaw pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and additional ailments.
Based on her book, “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction” by J. Travell, Trigger Point Therapy is effective in offering relief. According to Travell, “Ischemic compression consists of the application of sustained pressure to a trigger point for about 20 seconds to a minute. Pressure is gradually increased as the sensitivity of the trigger point subsides and the tension in its taut band fades. Pressure is released when the clinician feels the trigger point is less tender to pressure. Ischemic pressure should be followed by lengthening of the muscle except when stretching is contraindicated.”