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Trigger Point Release Certification

Approved for 8 Online Continuing Education Units/Credits (CEU's) for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists

Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.



Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience. 

Introduction
History
Summary

Without question, pain is a driving force in the lives of many people. It negatively impacts quality of life and the ability to work, concentrate, exercise, sleep, and enjoy family and friends. Albert Schweitzer,1 noted recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952, aptly stated, “Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death himself.”

Regarding chronic pain, the National Institutes of Health2 suggests that more than 76 million people in the United States suffer with chronic pain and that fewer than half receive treatment. The National Research Council figures differ, with the council citing surveys reporting that over 100 million people experience chronic pain.3 Although pain can occur anywhere in the body, the most common complaints are of low back pain (27%), migraine or severe headache (15%), neck pain (15%), and facial ache or pain (4%).4 Massage therapy practitioners commonly see people with these complaints in their practices; however, finding the root cause of any one of these conditions is seldom easy.

When people are asked to describe their experiences of pain, it quickly becomes clear that pain is a very personal, subjective experience. Words often fail to describe the unrelenting, exhausting influence that chronic pain has on a person’s life. Yet practitioners need to hear a description of the location, quality, and duration of the painful condition about which they are being consulted. Providing a list of words, such as dull, throbbing, sharp, burning, aching, and so forth, may help the person to voice a description of the painful condition. It is also important to determine if the pain is constant or sporadic, if it moves from one location to another, what aggravates it, and what steps the person has taken that have resulted in relief.

Efforts to diagnose the root cause of a person’s chronic pain can be extensive since there are many sources of pain in the human body, including muscles, joints, and organs. There are a multitude of standard medical tests, copious treatments, and numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications for chronic pain. One pervasive source of acute and chronic pain that is often overlooked in standard health care is a myofascial trigger point (MTrP), a tender, hyperirritable spot within a muscle that, when provoked, refers pain and other sensations to a (fairly predictable) target zone5 (Figure 22-1). The associated target zone is usually located peripheral to the trigger point, but it can sometimes be central to the trigger point and, rarely, can be in the same location as the trigger point. This chapter considers MTrPs, a variety of causes for their formation, and a number of treatment choices.

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FIGURE 22-1 ​Myofascial trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid muscle are associated with a wide variety of referred symptoms, including facial and head pain as indicated, visual disturbances, ear pain, hearing loss, and disturbances in orientation. (From Chaitow L, DeLany J: Clinical application of neuromuscular techniques, vol 1, The upper body, ed 2, Edinburgh, 2008, Churchill Livingstone. Referral pattern drawn after Simons et al.5)

Although most of the information currently considered as the foundational principles of MTrP formation and treatment has been developed in the last half century, referred pain from myofascial tissues, palpable myofascial nodules, and taut bands has been discussed in the academic literature for much longer. Box 22-1 provides a historical summary mentioning some of the people whose work has most significantly influenced the modern concepts of trigger point therapies. Although this list is not comprehensive by any means and cites only the most important publications in the last 150 years, one can readily notice that the inquiry into the phenomenon of referred pain is multinational and multidisciplinary.

A thorough, whole-person approach to wellness has quickly come to the forefront in health care as complementary and integrative approaches are being incorporated into mainstream medicine. Although often it is not practical, and at times not even legal, for each practitioner to address all aspects of wellness (illness), it is certainly relevant to bear in mind the interaction of biomechanical, biochemical, and psychosocial factors. Each or a combination of these factors may play a role in the formation and perpetuation of MTrPs and associated myofascial pain syndromes. Integrative support by the practitioner and his or her referral network will offer the best possibility for a healthier outcome.

Trigger point release is a goal that can be accomplished by incorporating any one of a number of therapeutic interventions, such as trigger point pressure release, spray and stretch technique, dry needling, or injection. The most reliable trigger point release method is most likely to be the one that the practitioner has most fully mastered. Competency in any one of a number of techniques, coupled with knowledge of anatomy and finely honed palpation skills, can dramatically increase the practitioner’s ability to relieve chronic pain. There is no shortage of individuals with pain, and practitioners who are prepared to address MTrPs can easily have a very successful practice in a number of fields of medicine that incorporate trigger point release.

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Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.



Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience.