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Trigger Points: the source of the pain

According to a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), over 100 million Americans currently suffer from chronic pain, costing approximately $600 billion a year in both medical treatments and lost productivity. This statistic is grossly underestimated considering a vast number of people either ignore their pain, utilize home remedies, or simply can't afford treatment therefore don't report their pain. But, for the average American, the common response to pain is to seek medical attention in hopes of a diagnosis and an immediate cure. Unfortunately, considering the complex nature of the human anatomy and the over generalization of clinical diagnoses, it is very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of many bodily pains and often treatments only alleviate symptoms instead of curing the underlying issue.

Now, this is not to say that medications or surgeries aren't beneficial or even necessary at times, but there is another side to the equation of pain relief that often gets left out. What we know is that pain usually originates from the stimulation of nociceptors (the type of nerve receptor responsible for relaying "pain" messages to and from the Central Nervous System), and only stops when these receptors stop producing a signal. This means that pain can last for a while after the initial occurrence of injury, and even after complete healing takes place. So what stops the message? Though there are a plethora of traditional and alternative solutions for pain treatment and management, neuromuscular therapy is often times one of the least invasive and most effective methods. Neuromuscular therapy has been thoroughly researched and proven to reduce, or even eradicate many types of physical pain. Traditionally, neuromuscular massage is a painful technique used to alleviate chronic muscular spasms, but I have learned over the years that the best therapy is often achieved through the path of least resistance (meaning less pain), so I have developed a non traditional neuromuscular massage that is only minimally painful and takes mere seconds to release the spasms, leading to far less post treatment soreness.

According to The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition by Clair Daviesstudies show that up to 90% of people who go to the doctor complaining of pain are experiencing some pain derived from trigger points, and 70% of that group is solely due to trigger points. In short, muscles develop tiny, chronic spasms, called “trigger points,” that can arise from from the time they develop in the womb. These spasms can cause a large array of bodily aches, pains, and misalignments and will not release without intervention. The causes of trigger points vary from injuries, to repetitive stress, to poor posture, etc. The fact is, one can live with trigger points his or her entire life and never realize it. Trigger points are, as I like to say, similar to little muscular volcanoes: they are always there, but only when they erupt do you notice them. This means a trigger point has 2 stages: active and latent. When a trigger point is active, it actively causes pain, loss of ROM (range of motion), muscle fatigue, etc. But when they are latent, you will experience little to no pain at all. Just because the trigger point has become inactive doesn't mean the issue is resolved: it's only a matter of time before that volcano erupts, causing the same issues again. This can explain why certain chronic pains continue to show up over and over with no genuine explanation. Most “solutions” to these pains associated with trigger points are limited to drugs, surgery, injections, or “just dealing with it” until the pain subsides. But there is an alternative, and that’s where neuro comes in.

How you deal with your pain is your choice. But in order to fix, not just mask your pain, you must treat the source. Pain meds only temporarily cover up symptoms while surgery, injections, and other procedures are often accompanied with adverse side effects and extended recovery time, so trying massage therapy as a potential treatment is a safe, effective, and overall non-invasive alternative.


To learn more about neuro and how it works visit this page:


Caleb Davis, LMT


Legal disclaimer: I am not a doctor and am prohibited from diagnosing any conditions either over the internet or in person. I can only offer suggestions and physically practice massage therapy.



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