If you are experiencing pain coming from soft tissue dysfunction in the jaws, head, neck upper shoulder region, there is a good chance myofascial trigger point therapy could help ease your suffering.
“Myofascial Trigger Points,” or “Trigger Points,” are sensitive spots in the body that cause pain when stimulated. One simple way to explain this symptom is that the tightening in the muscles and surrounding area have likely built up, so much so that it has lost the capability to relax on its own. This can cause nerve compression or blood flow restriction, both of which contribute to pain. ----------------------
Some Examples of Trigger Points and the Corresponding Pain Referral Map
A: Trigger points in the trapezius muscle: causes pain in the jaw, neck, head.
B: Trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid muscles: causes pain in the face, back of head.
C: Trigger points in the suboccipital muscles: causes pain around the eye towards the back of the head.
Trigger point therapists and neuromuscular therapists are trained to locate and remove these “knots,” commonly referred to as "trigger points" as they trigger a pain sensation. With an adequate amount of pressure, these points may 'let go' or 'melt' and the fascia or myofascia (connective tissue) releases the tension and regains its normal function. Trigger point work does not always need to cause pain, but it is best to be prepared for some “good hurt” sensations as they receive ischemic compression.
“Trigger Point Myofascial Pain” is still on it's way to gain more acknowledgement amongst the medical community. They are increasingly receiving attention as potential sources of mystery pain, such as MS and fibromyalgia in the recent years. One of the characteristics is that trigger points can produce pain sensations, not just locally, but also remotely. Through stress, trauma, dehydration, and many other factors, our fascia and muscles could tense up, which could then create impingement on the nervous system as well as restrict blood flow to create dysfunction in the body. It takes some work locating, and effectively working with, the trigger points to remove them. It is a form of art in many ways.
Click here to see if you could locate your trigger points. This "Symptom Checker" is provided by the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists (NAMTPT).