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Massage Therapy Glossary


Trigger Points

Are hyper-irritable areas occurring like small knots in the muscles tissue throughout the body. They can also be felt as painful lumps of hardened fascia/connective tissue, and are painful when pressed. They can transfer pain and tenderness (known as "referral patterns") into the joints and muscles. In some cases, the referred pain (from an active trigger point) can mimic other ailments, like heart attacks or tendonitis. There are active trigger points which cause ongoing, persistent pain and latent trigger points which are pain free until pressed. These referral patterns of sensation include sensations such as sharp pain, dull ache, tingling, pins and needles, hot or cold, as well as symptoms such as nausea, ear ache, equilibrium disturbance and/or blurred vision. These small, hyper-irritable sites in the muscle tissue often refer pain to other locations causing conditions such as headaches or sciatica. Trigger point releases are typically done as part of a massage therapy treatment and are accompanied by stretching and massage. See Trigger Point Therapy.

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