Several options exist when it comes to massage therapy. Massage therapy can range from therapeutic to purely relaxation. For individuals with chronic pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia, trigger point massage therapy (neuromuscular massage) has been beneficial in reducing pain and restoring normal function to muscles and joints.
Trigger point massage therapy is not a relaxing massage. It involves active communication between the massage therapist and the client. The massage therapist will first obtain a client history to gain a better understanding of the client’s pain issues. During the massage, the massage therapist will locate trigger points, as known as “knots”, within the muscle tissues. The client will be asked to rate the level of pain caused by pressure exerted on that “knot”. The massage therapist will focus on the most painful “knots” first. The therapist will apply pressure to those areas by using the hands, forearms, or elbows. The goal is to facilitate the release of the prolonged muscle contraction within the trigger points (knots), thereby allowing the muscle fibers to regain normal blood flow and function.
Individuals suffering from referred pain can find trigger point massage therapy very helpful. Referred pain is pain sensed at one location, even though there is no obvious injury in that location. The origin of the pain is at another area within the body. Trigger points (knots) can cause referred pain. Referred pain caused by trigger points can be minimized, if not eliminated, through a series of trigger point massage sessions. A therapy plan will should be developed by the massage therapist, ensuring the client is fully aware of the length and scope of the massage plan.