When we are stressed, we begin to feel our muscles tighten and knot up. The most common areas of the body where this will occur are in the neck and shoulder areas.
These annoying knots in muscles and connective tissue are called "Myofascial Trigger Points".
The "Myo" part of the word means muscle. "Fascial" refers to the elastic connective tissue that runs throughout the body, covering the muscles.
When this connective tissue is overused or stressed, adhesions can develop, or in other words, the tissue can become "stuck", creating what we call "trigger points".
It has been shown that these "stuck" areas, or trigger points, often radiate (or refer) pain from muscle or fascia in very characteristic patterns. For example, trigger points in the shoulder often send pain and tension throughout the shoulders and up into the lower neck.
Travell and Simon say that the shoulder is the area most affected by trigger points.
The levator scapula muscle connects your shoulder blade to your neck and is responsible for elevating your shoulder blade. It is easily prone to trigger points, and can refer pain to the neck, around the shoulders, and down into the mid-back.
Massage therapists are trained to prevent and reduce these knots and the pain that accompanies them by utilizing trigger point therapy.
One of the most effective treatments that therapeutic massage utilizes for this type of muscle-induced pain is called 'ischemic compression.'
After locating the trigger point, the therapist slowly applies direct pressure. After holding this pressure for 8-10 seconds, the tight area will usually release.The release of this tightness also relieves the muscle pain.
This direct pressure during this treatment may producing some mild discomfort which may be felt locally or may radiate away from the area being treated.
If you are suffering from stress-induced muscle pain, call the Coatney Professional Center for your massage therapy appointment today, and get started on a new path to pain relief!