Treatment technique

In an attempt to deactivate a trigger point, direct pressure is applied at 90° to the fibres. Pressure can be applied through the pads of the thumb or fingers, or through the elbow. As the pressure is applied it must activate the trigger point: consequently the pain may initially increase. The client may feel the pain at the exact point of pressure only, or the pain may also be referred to a target zone but it should be just bearable for the client. If the pressure is too great, it will make the client tense up: this is obviously counterproductive. If the trigger point is extremely sensitive, treatment should commence with light pressure, deepening as pain diminishes, but it must always be within client tolerance. The pressure is maintained for approximately 6-12 seconds until the pain diminishes, the pressure is then released, and after a few seconds is reapplied until the tension in the tissue eases and the pain subsides. The client should be instructed and encouraged to relax into the pain. This helps to break the pain-tension cycle. If the pain continues to increase and does not ease, release the pressure and stop the treatment as there may be an underlying inflammatory condition that is a contra-indication.

Following the direct pressure technique, the shortened muscles should be stretched (using the stretch techniques already described) and every attempt made to restore elasticity and full length.

Figure 9.4 Finger pressure to trigger point at medial border of scapula.

gluteal muscles. trapezius.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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