Trigger Point Therapy was pioneered and developed in this country by Dr. Janet Travell, President John F. Kennedy's personal physician during his years of persistent back pain. Today it is commonly referred to as Neuromuscular Therapy.
A trigger point is a hyperirritable tender spot in an abused muscle that refers pain ("triggers" pain) to other muscles. This is why the pain in your head may be coming from a neck muscle and the pain in your neck from a shoulder muscle and the pain in your low back from a hip muscle.
If the trigger points are not treated, they can be the culprits in lingering pain even after an injury has healed, and the reason why the headache, neckache, and backache keep returning year after year. Some of the causes of trigger point activity in your muscles are stress, excessive chilling, injury, overuse, strain, as well as chemical, drugs, alcohol, and environmental pollutants.
Active trigger points keep the muscles tight, restricting blood flow and compressing nerves perpetuating a vicious pain-spasm cycle in the muscles. The effect of decreased flexibility limits movement encouraging postural patterns which may sustain the cycle for years. Trigger Point Release Therapy is a valuable component of preventive as well as rehabilitative care.
The various neuromuscular techniques to release trigger points and restore movement are being studied today by many health care professionals.